‘Fight against PKK unites Turkey, Iran’
Monday, February 5, 2007
ANKARA – Turkish Daily News
Neighboring Iran clearly seeks to lure Turkey away from its traditional moorings to the West and the Kurds may be just the wedge they need, a Turkish researcher said in an article published by the U.S. weekly Newsweek International magazine. “If you were a mullah in Tehran facing a new western ‘coalition of the willing,’ there’s one country you would try to get on your side: next-door NATO neighbor, Turkey. And lately, the Iranians have been doing this quite well,” Ömer Taşpınar, a fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, said in his article. He said Ankara and Tehran increasingly shared a cause that unites them, that’s to say, the fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in northern Iraq.
Iran is fighting the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan (PJAK), the Iranian wing of the PKK. “It is no coincidence that [Foreign Minister Abdullah] Gül and [Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar] Büyükanıt are going to Washington. The meetings should put an end to the Bush administration’s happy talk about the stability of Iraqi Kurdistan. Unless U.S. forces act decisively against the PKK, the Turks will warn and then Ankara will take matters into its own hands,” he said, apparently referring to Turkish threats over a cross-border operation against PKK bases in northern Iraq, if Washington and Baghdad fail to take action. “All this will inevitably push Turkey toward Iran and may even end up creating an unprecedented Sunni-Shiite axis of frustration against America,” said Taşpınar.
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