Wednesday, October 17, 2007
The Squeaky Wheel
Turkey's sabre-rattling campaign about a cross-border incursion into Iraq has already achieved one of its objectives. Namely, a sense of urgency among the Iraqi leadership. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki called his Turkish counterpart today to reaffirm his commitment to eradicating the PKK presence in Iraq and to ask for "another chance". Meanwhile, Iraqi Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi arrived in Ankara yesterday for what Today's Zaman called a "hastily arranged visit".
Significantly, though, comments made by Jalal Talabani, Iraq's (Kurdish) President, were somewhat more tepid:
"We consider the activities of the PKK against the interests of the Kurdish people and against the interests of Turkey. We have asked the PKK to stop fighting and end military activity," Talabani said during a visit to Paris.
Of course, getting the PKK to end their military activity will have to go through the Kurds, and will probably require more than just asking them politely (although the PKK did declare a unilateral ceasefire in the past). But in the meantime, taking the Turks seriously is a start.