Turkey Says Its Troops Can Cross Iraq Border
ISTANBUL, Oct. 9 — Turkey took a step toward cross-border military action, as its top political and military leaders issued a statement today allowing troops to move into Iraq to eliminate separatist Kurdish rebel camps in the mountainous northern region.
Turkey moved toward military action in the face of strong opposition by the United States, which is anxious to maintain peace in the region, one of the rare areas of stability in conflict-torn Iraq. But more than two dozen Turkish soldiers have been killed in recentl days, and the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan seems far more determined than before to act decisively.
All government offices and institutions have been ordered “to take all economic and political measures, including cross-border operations when necessary, in order to end the existence of the terror organization in a neighboring country,” said the statement, which was released by Mr. Erdogan’s office.
Turkey’s refusal to assist in the creation of a modern Kurdistan will promise another hundred years of strife. Decisions made after the 1st World War continue to haunt the areas of Eastern Turkey that were carved out of the conquered Ottoman Empire by Brits.
It might be simpler had the British not drawn all these Middle Eastern lines of sovereignty, nearly a century ago, snug in their drawing-rooms between weekend pheasant shoots and evening brandy. Brits were the world-power in those colonial times and they cashed-in nations the way lesser players might throw in the cards on a losing poker hand.
Harruuumph! All right, old man, have it your way. Put the damned border over there and, for God’s sake, let’s move in for dinner. I understand Lady Eleanor serves up a smashing rack of lamb.
Bad policy never goes away, it just simmers on the international stove until it’s ready for serving, a generation or a century later.
. . . Our government will soon start technical consultation with the military to see what they need in order to end this violence that make our hearts bleed. First, there needs to be necessary preparations and assessments. We can say that they have already started. . .
Turkish hearts have never bled for Kurds. Bad policy a hundred years ago is still bad policy–then, today and tomorrow.