Wednesday, October 24, 2007
According to Gareth Porter, the PKK attack on a Turkish base over the weekend was part of a calculated and clever plan to force Turkey to the negotiating table. Coming just days after the Turkish parliament approved a military intervention, the raid as well as the apparently pre-meditated decision to take prisoners were designed to push Turkey to the brink of an incursion in order to mobilize a subsequent diplomatic backlash against the use of force.
If it's true, it would seem to have worked for the time being. I'm not sure just what concessions the PKK can realistically hope to extract, whether directly or through intermediaries. But I've become increasingly convinced that Turkey will make quite a bit of noise about this -- including some border shelling -- before eventually hammering out some sort of cooperative agreement with the Iraqi central government, the Kurdistan Regional Government, and the US. But the threat of an attack can't be sustained for very long without some sort of results, otherwise it loses its credibility. That, plus the fact that winter conditions are quickly setting in on the border, make time of the essence.