- BayBak, Voice of a Nation - http://www.en.baybak.com -
Cross-border operation delayed until after elections
BayBak, Azerbaijan | 2141 days ago | Thursday, 12th July , 2007 , 05:51 [am] | Azerbaijan
|.|| (PKK) based there seems to have been postponed to a time after the elections, with Prime Minister Recep Tayip ErdoÄŸan stating “the possibility of getting parliamentary approval for an operation is not on our agenda right now.”
ErdoÄŸan’s statement, made in an interview late Monday on state broadcaster TRT, comes after persistent statements from the military chief, Gen. YaÅŸar BÃ¼yÃ¼kanÄ±t, indicating the army’s expectation for a political decision to launch a military incursion into northern Iraq. Earlier, government spokespeople and senior
The military intervention that Turkey has been considering staging in northern Iraq to root out members of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) based there seems to have been postponed to a time after the elections, with Prime Minister Recep Tayip ErdoÄŸan stating “the possibility of getting parliamentary approval for an operation is not on our agenda right now.”
ErdoÄŸan’s statement, made in an interview late Monday on state broadcaster TRT, comes after persistent statements from the military chief, Gen. YaÅŸar BÃ¼yÃ¼kanÄ±t, indicating the army’s expectation for a political decision to launch a military incursion into northern Iraq. Earlier, government spokespeople and senior members of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) on a number of occasions had stated that Parliament could be convened to discuss a possible incursion into northern Iraq before the elections; however, they recently decided that there is no need for an operation “for now” during a Cabinet meeting on Monday.
Meanwhile, sources say that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who talked to Foreign Minister Abdullah GÃ¼l last Friday on the phone, called on Turkey to wait for the steps the US and the Iraqi central government would take against the PKK before launching an operation. Earlier reports said Rice got no firm assurance from GÃ¼l that Turkey would not carry out a cross-border operation.
Speaking to the press after Monday’s Cabinet meeting, Deputy Prime Minister and government spokesperson Abdullatif Åžener said there was no discussion at the meeting on a possible motion seeking parliamentary approval for a northern Iraq incursion.
In his Monday night remarks, Prime Minister ErdoÄŸan said a seeking parliamentary approval for an incursion “is not on our agenda for the time being.” However, he said the government was ready to take the necessary action without hesitation if that would be needed. “Not now. We have 12 days until the elections, and we don’t have seeking parliamentary approval on our agenda in these 12 days.”
ErdoÄŸan also reiterated Turkey’s expectation to see the US and Iraqi administrations keep the promises they made, adding that Turkey was concerned with recent developments in Iraq. “We have been seriously saddened by the inhuman attacks staged in the region where our Turkmen brothers live. I hereby express that we strongly condemn this attack with contempt.”
The prime minister also warned that Turkey was ready to give “the harshest possible reactions,” calling on the central government of Iraq to live up to its responsibility of taking the necessary measures. “We are saying, ‘Let’s take the necessary steps trilaterally as the Iraqi government, Turkey and the US.’ The US has lived through problems with terrorism. Turkey did whatever it could when [the US] asked for help. Now we are following with sadness how America is keeping silent at a time when Turkey is fighting a similar war on terror, for there were promises made to us regarding this issue, and these have to be fulfilled.” He added: “If they are not, then we’ll take care of ourselves.”
He said Turkey will reevaluate the possibility of an incursion “clearly and openly” after the elections.
The prime minister also strongly reacted to spokespeople from the Iraqi central government who said they would resist an over-the-border operation from Turkey. “Some are making different mistakes. They should hear what comes out of their mouths, because the country that they are talking with is Turkey. They should understand this perfectly well. We are only showing patience because it is a neighboring country. But harboring terrorism and terrorists can’t keep them out of this for long; they have responsibility in the first degree in solving this.”
The possibility of an incursion into northern Iraq was also on the table at the AK Party’s Central Executive Committee meeting held on Monday shortly after the Cabinet meeting. The prime minister reiterated his opinion that seeking the approval of Parliament to authorize the launch of a military campaign in northern Iraq was not necessary for now.
Senior administrators of the AK Party note that the central government of Iraq has recently aligned itself with northern Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani in opposing a possible Turkish cross-border operation.
The government considers the US to be responsible for the new attitude the central government of Iraq has taken regarding the possibility of a military intervention, a concern that was relayed by Foreign Minister GÃ¼l to US Secretary of State Rice on Friday. Sources say Rice promised GÃ¼l that they would do their best to soften the tone employed by the central government of Iraq.todayszaman, Voice of a Nation