Friday, February 22, 2008

Turkish Forces Enter Iraq

Well, it's finally happened. Today, a small number of Turkish ground forces crossed into Iraq to strike Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) terrorists operating in remote border regions. Now, geopolitics wonks have long been wringing their hands that the Turks would be forced to this, and it's always presented as if it would necessarily be the first step in a major Kurdistan war. In reality, however, it seems to have made few waves. The Iraqi government has wisely followed a middle track since Turkish air strikes began some time ago, neither endorsing nor impeding Turkey's actions against the PKK, while making very clear that the PKK is anything but welcome in Iraq. The Turks for their part have been very conscientious of the perception of their actions in Iraqi Kurdistan.

In the bigger picture, why exactly has everyone been so convinced that Turkey can't tolerate the success of Iraqi Kurdistan? Are the Iraqi Kurds, having finally achieved freedom and significant autonomy through incredibly long-suffering patience, such a bad role model for Turkish Kurds?

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