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Apr 15 / Jonathan

The Belgravia Dispatch: Ankara Watch

Gregory Djerejian of The Belgravia Dispatch posts on the “increasingly alarming situation” between Turkey and the Iraqi Kurds. Quoting the Financial Times:

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, and other Turkish leaders have warned repeatedly that the gerrymandering threatens to make a fait accompli of a referendum on Kirkuk’s status later this year that Turkey will not tolerate. Turkey is increasingly identifying with the Turkmen minority in the city, which Ankara believes is being ill treated by the Kurds.

It’s hard to argue with Turkey’s view that the accession of Kirkuk into Iraqi Kurdistan would lead to de facto Kurdish independence. Kurdish Iraq has been the one bright spot since the 2003 invasion (though of course it was effectively insulated from Saddam’s regime well before then).

The FT again:

General Yasar Buyukanit, chief of the general staff, is expected to set out Turkey’s concerns over Iraq when he visits Washington later this month. One possible outcome intended to guard against a unilateral Turkish intervention would be a joint anti-PKK military operation with US and Iraqi forces, says an analyst who asked not to be named.

…making the PKK another branch of the anti-US insurgency. Just what we needed.

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