In the Arena

Turkey Gobbles Kurdistan?

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Over the summer, I took an informal poll of Iraq analysts at various US intelligence agencies about how and whether the Iraq war would spill over into neighboring countries. None of the analysts seemed particularly concerned that Iran would rush in and seize parts of Iraq–although Iran’s influence is growing, especially in Basra.
The near unanimous opinion was, however, that the border to watch was Turkey-Kurdistan. The mega-fear is that the Turks will move in to “protect” the local Turkmen population if the Kurds take over Kirkuk (and the adjacent oil fields). The more likely scenario was that the Turks would cross the border to take action against the PKK guerrillas, who have been causing real trouble in the Kurdish areas of Turkey for years. Now the Turkish parliament has approved cross-border military action against the PKK. I’m not sure that this is anything more than a warning flare–or an acknowledgement of the sort of raids that have already been taking place on both sides. But it’s not very good….

And it’s all the more reason to forget about the idiotic, symbolic condemnation of the Armenian genocide.