Turkey and the PKK from a Turkish Point of View

By Frank Bieszczat

I. Introduction

 

            This paper addresses the current state of affairs between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The analysis begins by providing a short history of the Kurds and the PKK. Next, is an analysis of the statuses and motivations driving the major players in the conflict: Turkey, the United States, the PKK, and Iraq. Following, is an exploration of possible strategies Turkey could employ and proposed recommendations on how to proceed. This paper is written from the viewpoint of a Turkish official addressing the situation with the best interests of Turkey in mind.

II. The Kurds

 

            It is estimated that around 25 million Kurds are located within the borders of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria.[1] The country with the greatest number of Kurds living within its borders is Turkey, where it is estimated they make up 15-20% of the population, amounting to somewhere between 11 and 15 million people.[2] The borders of an independent Kurdistan would encompass a large section of southeastern Turkey, a significant portion of northern Iraq, a thin strip running along Iran’s northwestern border, and the northeast corner of Syria.[3]

            The few sociologists who addressed the Kurds over the first half o the 20th century tended to regard the Kurds as backwards, unchanged for over 4,000 years, and extremely disorganized.[4] Historically, Kurdish society was based on a tribal structure, and it is this structure that has often been identified as one of the primary roadblocks to Kurdish unity.[5] Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey have taken advantage of this disorganization on numerous occasions to use different Kurdish rebel groups for their own purposes against their neighbors.[6]

             The governments of each of the four countries in which the Kurds are found have oppressed the Kurds at different times to different degrees. In Turkey, the oppression has been physical, cultural, and political. Article 88 of the original Turkish constitution of 1924 provided all inhabitants of Turkey were to be deemed Turkish irrespective of their religion or race.[7] Armed Kurdish uprisings took place in 1925, 1930, and 1937, culminating in the Dersim revolt in 1938.[8] The revolt was brutally crushed and included heavy casualties and massive deportations.[9] Following the Dersim revolt, the Turkish government provided the Kurdish southeast with little to no government services or infrastructure, and Kurdish nationalism did not reemerge on a significant scale again until the 1960s.[10]

            The Turkish government’s war on Kurdish culture included works by Turkish “scientists” claiming that Kurds were actually just mountain Turks, and the word Kurd was defined in a 1971 Turkish dictionary as a community of Turks that have largely changed their language.[11] Kurdish village names were changed into Turkish names.[12] The Kurdish language could not be used in television or radio broadcasts.[13] Kurdish-language education was banned, and the Kurdish history did not appear in history books.[14] The constitution of 1982 banned the Kurdish language outside the home until its repeal in 2001.[15]

            Currently, Article 301 of the Penal Code is the avenue by which the Turkish government wages its war on the Kurdish culture.[16] Article 301 prohibits the public denigration of Turkey or its government.[17] It is a broadly worded law which provides prosecutors with significant latitude, and its vigorous enforcement against anyone who addresses Kurdish nationalist issues.[18]

            Oppression against the Kurdish minority, by Saddam Hussein, in Iraq is very well known. The Iraqi Anfal campaign of the late 1980s left an estimated 200,000 people dead and another 1.5 million homeless.[19] Tens of thousands of Iraqi Kurds fled, primarily into the neighboring countries of Turkey and Iran.[20] In Iran, the Kurds faced tight political control[21]. Kurds in Syria faced severe restrictions where they were barred from owning their own political parties and were occasionally stripped of their Syrian citizenship.[22] In each case, governments oppressed Kurdish minorities based upon a fear of eventual demands for independence.[23]  It is against this backdrop that Abdullah Ocalan convened the first official meeting PKK in Ankara in 1974.[24]

III. History of the PKK

 

            A history of the relationship between Turkey and the PKK is necessary to shed light on the current state of affairs between the two and how they view each other. The PKK is a party that is dominated by its founder and ideological leader Abdullah Ocalan. Therefore, a brief history of Ocalan should precede an investigation of running themes within the PKK, followed by a chronological study of Turkish-PKK relations through its different phases.

III.A. Background on Abdullah Ocalan

 

            Abdullah Ocalan was born into poverty in a farming village on the border of the Kurdish region in southeastern Turkey.[25] In 1966, Ocalan moved to Ankara to attend a vocational high school.[26] While in Ankara, Ocalan was introduced to Kurdish nationalist sentiments and embraced socialism.[27] Ocalan became sympathetic to the growing “Kurdish left,” but did not become particularly active in the movement.[28]

            The key turning point in Ocalan’s life took place in 1972, when he was arrested and imprisoned for seven months after being found guilty of participating in an illegal protest of the killing of leftist militants.[29] While in prison, Ocalan was exposed to a number of members of leftist groups and observed the inner-workings of such groups.[30] Ocalan emerged from prison in 1972 having lost his faith in democracy, and convinced that armed rebellion by Turkish Kurds was necessary to effect tangible change.[31] He immediately set to work looking for friends that sought to follow the same course, culminating in the first official meeting of seven men in Ankara in 1974.[32]

III.B. PKK Themes

III.B.1.Exclusivity

 

            The PKK’s growth in popularity and strength is largely a byproduct of its early focus of differentiating itself from other groups pursuing similar leftist-Kurdish agendas and actively pursuing their elimination. The PKK also focused its energies on destabilizing the tribal structure that Ocalan saw as an impediment to Kurdish unity.[33] In the late 1970s the PKK gained support by focusing its attention and violence on members of powerful Kurdish tribes that were affiliated with the ruling Turkish party.[34] The PKK’s first armed action took place in 1978, and was against a tribal family connected with a right wing Turkish party.[35] The killing was in response to the killing of a PKK member by one of the family’s members.[36] As a result, the PKK demonstrated its willingness to fight and garnered some popular support.[37]

            The violence against Kurds expanded to armed conflict against other Kurdish liberation groups,[38] Kurdish “village guards” armed and paid by the Turkish government,[39] and Iraqi Kurds who wanted the PKK out of northern Iraq.[40] Interestingly, the Iraqi Kurds the PKK fought against in 1992 were led by the two current main actors in northern Iraq, Massoud Barzani and Jalal Talabani.[41]

            In 1980 the Turkish military staged a coup that inadvertently enhanced the PKK’s power significantly.[42] Prior to the coup in 1979, Ocalan directed all PKK to flee Turkey, and most, including Ocalan, fled to Syria.[43] The military regime instituted a severe crackdown on leftist and Kurdish extremist groups following the coup and made thousands of arrests.[44] The military crackdown benefited the PKK in two ways. First, it crushed all other similar groups because they were unable to get nearly as many of their members out of Turkey prior to the arrests.[45] Second, PKK members who did not get out of Turkey and were arrested gained notoriety among the Kurdish public because of their suicides and protests of torture from within the prisons.[46] By 1982 the PKK was essentially the only leftist or Kurdish group still in operation as Ocalan led an organizational campaign from his headquarters in Syria.[47]

III.B.2. Armed Rebellion

 

            A central strategy for the PKK has been the use of armed rebellion aimed at forcing Turkey to negotiate on independence.[48] The PKK’s successful use of armed attacks was critical to the group’s growth in the late 1980s. Of particular importance is the 1984 attack on army barracks in the Turkish towns of Eruh and Semdinli.[49] This marked the PKK’s first attack against a Turkish target, and announced the arrival of the PKK following the military’s transfer of power back to a civilian government.[50] The attacks continued as the year progressed, and with every successful attack the group’s popularity grew.[51] The public was unwilling to back another failed uprising, and more success bred more recruits.[52]

            Heavy casualties have been incurred on both sides since the fighting began in 1984, with estimates in the range of 30,000 to 40,000.[53] Contributing to the high number of casualties for the PKK is the youth of many of their fighters. During the early 1990s, the number of casualties skyrocketed because many of the new recruits were 14-15 years old, and were not as skilled fighters as the older rebels.[54] The fighting, though, has not been constant. In 1999, following his arrest and death sentence, Ocalan called for a stop to the fighting by the PKK.[55] The PKK, though, renounced this self-imposed ceasefire in 2005.[56] It is possible that the success of the Iraqi Kurds in gaining autonomy contributed to the resumption of attacks.[57] The group may have felt somewhat shamed by the lack of progress in comparison to the Iraqis, and felt pressure to interrupt what they viewed as stagnation.[58]

            Additionally, a ceasefire was declared in 1993 in response to requests by the progressive newly elected president Turgut Ozal.[59] The ceasefire was designed to give Ozal the opportunity to gain the political capital necessary to develop and implement a solution to the “Kurdish question.”[60] Unfortunately, Ozal died of a heart attack shortly after the ceasefire’s beginning.[61] Others believe the ceasefire was the result of a successful military campaign launched in the early 1990s that severely hampered the PKK.[62] Whatever the motivation, the ceasefire lasted only two months and ended with an ambush and killing of 33 off-duty soldiers.[63] Whether the ambush was actually authorized is disputed, but based on Ocalan’s tight control over party activity, it seems unlikely the ambush would have occurred without his approval.[64]

III.B.3. Marxism/Socialism

 

            Ocalan has always stayed loyal to a socialist model of government as the ideal for a free Kurdistan, but has adapted it in some significant ways. Ocalan envisions a democratic socialism.[65] He declines to structure the socialist argument in terms of class structure, but instead focuses on a re-humanization and recreation of the Kurdish personality.[66] According to Ocalan, capitalism leads to a bestialization based on greed that can be overcome by reigning in one’s overconsumption within his socialist structure.[67] He foresees the socialist structure as allowing for personal development because the person can focus on improving the self instead of pursuing capital.[68] Ocalan’s modifications to traditional socialist theory were made in response to the fall of the Soviet Union, and with the purpose of distancing his own political beliefs from those which contributed to the Soviet Union’s demise.[69]

III.B.4. Comprehensive Lifestyle

 

            A striking feature of the PKK is the complete devotion required of members of the party. In order to become a full-time member of the party, one must forsake his or her private life and become completely devoted to the party.[70] Devotion includes severing the relationship between a member and the member’s spouse.[71] “Having been approved as a member of the party is perceived as an introduction into a novel way of living rather than being a member of a political organization.”[72] Additionally, sexual relations was not permitted and could lead to an arrest, trial, and death sentence.[73] The harsh restrictions on sexual activity had a positive effect on recruitment because it made Kurdish parents more willing to allow their children, especially daughters, to join the party.[74] The strategy was successful, and by 1993 one-third of the PKK fighters were female.[75]

            Retirement from the party is absolutely not allowed, and attempts to leave the party often result in death.[76] Mere suspicion of disloyalty was enough to warrant death as many of the new recruits in the late 1980s were killed.[77] Ocalan distrusted many of these new recruits because many were educated professionals, and he feared they were actually Turkish agents.[78] The assassinations of ex-members in Europe demonstrate the high premium Ocalan placed on maintaining loyalty within the party.[79] 

IV. Current Scenario

          IV.A. The Parties

 

            In order to understand the current conflict and analyze its possible outcomes, it is necessary first to identify the major parties and the interests that will most likely drive them. The four key parties in this dispute exerting most influence are Turkey, the PKK, the United States, and Iraq.

IV.A.1. Turkey

 

            The primary decisionmaking party is Turkey. Turkish policy will be influenced by strong resistance to the establishment of an independent or autonomous Kurdish entity in the region, internal politics, possible EU accession, and the military realities of engaging the PKK in northern Iraq.

IV.A.1.a. Kurdish Autonomy in Turkey and Iraq

 

            Given the vigor with which the Turkish government has consistently opposed even the recognition of a Kurdish ethnicity, it comes as no surprise the government is ardently opposed to the recognition of an independent Kurdish state within its borders.

            Historically, the government has been strongly opposed to the creation of an independent or largely autonomous Kurdish state in northern Iraq.[80] Additionally, Turkey is worried that the United States supports an independent Kurdistan in Iraq.[81] Specifically, the government is concerned that Kurds in northern Iraq would be sympathetic to the cause of Turkish Kurds, and would therefore support groups like the PKK. This concern is justified, as most of the PKK’s attacks throughout the history of the conflict have been launched from camps based in northern Iraq.[82] Following the arrest of Abdullah Ocalan, many Turkish Kurds involved in the PKK relocated to northern Iraq.[83] It is not disputed the PKK’s most recent attacks on the Turkish military were based out of camps in northern Iraq, and there are now approximately 3,000 PKK rebels located in northern Iraq.[84]

            Turkey’s unease with an independent or autonomous Kurdish Iraq extends beyond direct support for the PKK from Iraqi territory. There is a sentiment within Turkey that any independence achieved by Kurds in Iraq will embolden Kurds in Turkey to seek similar independence.[85] This position may have some merit, as there has been speculation that the recent surge in PKK activity is at least partially attributable to success of Iraqi Kurds in carving out relative autonomy.[86] In fact, many Iraqi Kurds feel a possible Turkish incursion is actually aimed at destabilizing northern Iraq more than it is at eliminating the PKK.[87]

            Turkey is additionally troubled by what it perceives as general global support for an independent Kurdistan. Evidence for this perception is found in a 2006 map of a “new Middle East” created by the United States for a NATO military college that showed an independent Kurdistan incorporating a large portion of southeastern Turkey.[88] Further, the growing literature calling for a three-state solution to Iraq which includes the creation of an independent Kurdish state contributes to Turkey’s misgivings.[89]

IV.A.1.b. Internal Politics

 

            As is always the case, a government’s foreign policy is greatly influenced by the state of its internal politics. Of particular importance is the relationship between Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his AKP party, and the Kemalists which dominate the military. Historically, the military has played a very active role in Turkish politics and has exerted significant influence in determining its leaders. The Kemalists have been antagonistic towards the AKP party because it represents a threat to their longtime dominance of Turkish politics.[90] The military justifies its distrust of the party, and the pressures it has placed on the government since it has becoming the ruling party, as necessary to protect the secular Turkish government from Islamist rule.[91] Erdogan maintains the AKP is a conservative, democratic party and that he is not an Islamist, but many Kemalists do not believe him.[92]

            The military’s presence puts pressure on the current government to take a hard line against the PKK. Both the military and the AKP want to present themselves as hard-liners against the PKK in order to secure greater public support.[93] In addition to the military, the government is under pressure from the public to respond to PKK attacks with force.[94] A recent poll found 81% of Turks supported a military incursion into Iraq to crush the PKK.[95] National pride and support within Turkey for the military has been evidenced in the crowds of thousands that have attended the funerals of soldiers recently killed by PKK rebels.[96] Another indicator of the public’s attitude is the recent success of novels and films based upon the assumption of an eventual military conflict with the United States in northern Iraq.[97] All of these factors combine to put considerable pressure on Prime Minister Erdogan to take a hard line against the PKK, even if he may not feel it is necessarily in the country’s best interest. A failure to do so could result in his party’s loss of public confidence and power, and an eventual return to military rule.

IV.A.1.c. EU Accession

 

            A hotly debated topic in Turkey and throughout Europe has been the eventual accession of Turkey into the EU. Following a period of positive relations between Turkey and the EU, and significant reforms and economic improvements within Turkey, from 1999 through 2004, the accession process has stalled and begun to flounder.[98] While one of the biggest stumbling blocks for accession has been Turkey’s activity regarding the Cyprus dispute,[99] Turkish-Kurd relations have played a pivotal role in defining the relationship between Turkey and the EU.[100] Many of the reforms Turkey has had to enact in conjunction with its EU candidacy have dealt with minority rights and freedom of expression, issues at the heart of Turkish-Kurdish relations.[101] Many believe the EU would respond to a Turkish invasion of northern Iraq by suspending negotiations over eventual EU accession.[102] The reforms enacted form 1999 to 2004 in response to EU accession had positive effects on civil rights and education, and coincided with significant economic improvements, indicating that it is in Turkey’s best interests to remain on the path of eventual accession in the EU.[103]

            As the accession process has floundered, public support for EU accession within Turkey has diminished.[104] Waning domestic support may be attributable to a widespread opinion that Europe will reject Turkey’s candidacy regardless of the reforms they enact.[105] Nevertheless, a recent poll found 51% of the Turkish public still supported EU membership, indicating substantial support remains.[106] Declining public support indicates the prospect of EU accession has become less of a concern for Turkey, but still remains an important part of the government’s long term goals and will not be sacrificed for small gains elsewhere.[107]

IV.A.1.d. Military Realities

 

            Any decision the Turkish government makes regarding the viability of a military solution to the PKK must take into account the effort that would be required significantly to dismantle the PKK in northern Iraq. Since PKK rebels began hiding out in the mountains of northern Iraq and launching attacks from there in the 1980s, Turkey’s military has been unable to achieve significant success in attacking the mountain hideouts.[108] In the early-1990s, Turkey launched a substantial military operation in northern Iraq to eradicate the PKK.[109] The military operation succeeded in making life harder for the PKK rebels, and diminished the number of attacks launched from the area.[110] The Turks, though, were unable to achieve their ultimate goal of destroying the PKK contingent in the area, and following the attacks, the PKK was able to regroup effectively.[111]

            Despite improvements in military technology since the 1990s, it would be naïve to think that eliminating the PKK presence in northern Iraq would be less than a significant undertaking. In fact, it seems that the military may have resigned itself to the conclusion that incursion into Iraq would not entirely obliterate the PKK.[112] One general believes that a large cross-border operation has political value, but is unlikely to solve the PKK problem.[113] The decentralized nature of PKK encampments and rugged mountain terrain significantly hamper the effectiveness of large scale military strikes.[114] Additionally, technological advances in communication and the media have allowed the PKK to more closely track Turkish military movement through simple news reports.[115]

The shortcomings of military campaigns of the past, though, may not necessarily indicate similar results in the present because Turkey has modernized and adapted its military over the last decade to be better equipped to engage in mountain fighting with the PKK. Turkey has developed elite mountain commando units, and the military is capable of aerial precision strike operations and mountain commando raids.[116] At least some in the Pentagon believe that mountain raids could be successful with better intelligence.[117] Recently, the United States has begun to provide Turkey with improved intelligence regarding the locations of PKK rebels.[118] It is uncertain how effective a military attack on the PKK would be, and as Turkey utilizes better intelligence in its limited raids on PKK rebels the probability of success may become more apparent. At this stage, though, it seems unlikely that a military solution will accomplish much more than create a temporary setback for the PKK.

IV.A.2. PKK

 

            Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the PKK’s stated objective was for a “free Kurdistan.”[119]      What exactly is meant by the term “free Kurdistan” is unclear. It seems that Ocalan may have been referring primarily to an abstract philosophical freedom. Ocalan’s conception of freedom closely represents a socialist utopia where people are free from the pressures of capitalism and therefore can focus on developing their “selves.”[120] He says his movement is more about freeing individuals than freeing groups.[121] Therefore, the term may not necessarily refer to political freedom, but rather freedom from Turkish oppression. Such an interpretation would be consistent with Ocalan’s statements following his arrest which indicated that his goals and the PKK’s goals were to achieve social reforms through the political process.[122]

            The long history of Kurdish mistrust of the Turkish government and the Turkish political process may deter the PKK from accepting anything short of independence.[123] This is especially true because since the late 1990s the PKK and the Kurds have enjoyed a certain level of autonomy in southeastern Turkey.[124] The PKK has retained a significant role in local governance, cultural institutions, and the media.[125]

            The PKK’s strategy will be influenced by its current level of strength in addition to its overriding goals. While not as strong as it was at its height in the early 1990s, the PKK is healthier than it has been over the last couple of years. In 1993, at the height of the PKK’s popularity and power, the number of armed rebels ballooned to around 10,000, in addition to as many as 60,000 armed civilians.[126] Currently it is estimated there are only 3,000 PKK rebels in northern Iraq.[127] Despite the group’s dip in power since the 1990s, there has been a resurgence since the United States’ invasion of Iraq.[128] The group’s resurgence is partially attributable to the abundance of weaponry that has been available since the invasion, as the regime’s weaponry has scattered.[129]

            The PKK’s primary goal will be to survive and maintain the ability to continue strikes on Turkey. Given the PKK’s increase in strength over the last couple of years, it is likely the group’s objectives will be more ambitious than mere survival. On the other hand, despite the PKK’s massive numbers in the early 1990s, the group failed to engage in a campaign beyond the customary cross-border raids.[130] The recent spike in PKK activity[131] may be partly attributable to a sense of empowerment resulting from the group’s improved military strength following the invasion of Iraq. Despite this current trend, it is unlikely the PKK would deviate from its traditional strategy now when the group’s strength, while rising, is significantly less than it was 15 years ago.

IV.A.3. United States

 

            The United States’ main interests are maintaining stability in northern Iraq, keeping fairly good relations with Turkey, protecting the oil supply, and maintaining the appearance, at least, of remaining committed to the fight on terror. More generally, maintaining a good relationship with Turkey and Prime Minister Erdogan provides the United States with a much needed connection to the Muslim world.[132]

            The United States government has relied on the stability of the Kurdish region in northern Iraq in its attempt to reconstruct Iraq and create a viable Iraqi government.[133] Following the invasion of Iraq, the Kurdish region in the north has been the most prosperous and least violent.[134] This relative peace and prosperity has allowed the United States to divert resources elsewhere, as is evidenced by the general absence of American troops in northern Iraq.[135]

            Historically, Turkey and the United States have been allies.[136] This relationship was threatened by the invasion of Iraq.[137] Turkey opposed the invasion based upon its concerns that eventual independence or autonomy of the Iraqi Kurds could result.[138] Despite its opposition, Turkey has allowed the United States access to its airspace and an airbase at Incirlik.[139] The United States ships 74% of its air cargo to Iraq through this airbase.[140] The United States could continue its operation in Iraq without the use of either the airbase or airspace.[141] Loss of access, though, would make it more expensive to transport supplies to Iraq.[142] Therefore, the United States has a strong interest in maintaining a working relationship with Turkey in order to avoid these extra costs.

            Additionally, Turkey has the second largest military next to the United States in NATO, and recently had been substantially involved in NATO missions in Somalia, Kosovo, and Afghanistan.[143] Turkey shares joint rotational command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan and is an important part of the international coalition to achieve a diplomatic solution to Iran’s noncompliance with international nuclear obligations.[144] Turkey has also been involved in finding a solution in the conflict between Palestine and Israel, and helped evacuate United States’ citizens from Lebanon during the confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah in 2006.[145] The United States also relies on Turkey’s relationship with Russia to bridge what is becoming a wider divide between the United States and Russia.[146] Based on Turkey’s status and geographic location, it also acts as a mediator between the United States and countries like Syria and Iran.[147] Finally, on a more ideological level, the United States relies on Turkey to “repudiate[e] the widespread belief that Islam and democracy are incompatible.”[148]

            Protecting the oil supply from Iraq is a great concern for the United States. Currently 1.6 million barrels of oil go through the Kirkuk pipeline to Turkey every day.[149] The PKK has threatened to attack oil pipelines if Turkey launches a military invasion of northern Iraq.[150] The recent instability in northern Iraq, resulting from Turkey’s military buildup and threats of invasion, [but you said northern Iraq was stable]has already sent oil prices skyrocketing,[151] and attacks on the pipelines that reduce the production and supply of oil would only send them higher. The interest in protecting the oil supply is also closely related to the United States’ interest in maintaining a stable northern Iraq, as much of the relative prosperity of the region is tied to the oil pipelines. Investment in northern Iraq’s oil has diminished in response to the tensions with Turkey.[152] Large oil companies have avoided investment in the region, in part because of security uncertainties.[153] Protection of the oil pipelines is important to the United States because it contributes to the prized stability in northern Iraq and keeps gas prices low at home.

            The United States’ policy will also be shaped by the necessity of maintaining the appearance, at least, of being tough on terror. The United States has listed the PKK as a terrorist organization.[154] Ten PKK members are currently on the United States’ “most wanted” list.[155] For years, Turkey has exhibited significant impatience with the United States’ reluctance to address the operations of this “terrorist organization” within the borders of Iraq.[156] Recently Prime Minister Erdogan echoed this sentiment, stating the United States should be dealing with the PKK as it deals with al-Qaeda.[157] Erdogan has also said the United States should repay Turkey for its assistance in Afghanistan by supporting Turkey’s struggle against the PKK.[158] Failure to support Turkey against the PKK would constitute an inconsistent foreign policy towards terrorism, and could significantly threaten Turkish cooperation in combating other terrorist groups that pose a more direct threat to the United States.

IV.A.4. Iraq

 

            It is difficult to determine what Iraq’s interests are and predict how Iraq will act because there is no real unified Iraq. Instead, there is an interplay between three major players: Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, President Jalal Talabani, and President of the Kurdistan regional government Massoud Barzani.

            Despite his position as Prime Minister, al-Maliki has very little influence over the course of events. It is understood that the two powers in northern Iraq are the Americans and the Iraqi Kurds, and that talking to al-Maliki is essentially useless.[159] Nevertheless, al-Maliki has made it clear his preference is to remove the PKK from Iraq, and he has barred the party from operating on Iraqi soil and attempted to close their offices.[160]

            Jalal Talabani, in addition to being President of Iraq, is himself a Kurd from northern Iraq.[161] In the 1970s Talabani formed the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK).[162] The PUK and PKK formed a brief alliance in 1988 which ended in 1989 with Ocalan verbally attacking Talabani for being willing to settle for Kurdish autonomy instead of independence.[163] Talabani has consistently taken more moderate positions, preferring diplomacy over violence.[164]

            Talabani has maintained his moderate tone in the present situation. Just as he did in the 1990s, Talabani has appealed to the PKK to stop fighting and pursue democratic avenues.[165] Talabani, though, has stated Iraq is unable to get the rebels and hand them over, indicating he does not have substantial power or influence himself.[166]

            Of the three main players, it is Massoud Barzani who potentially has the greatest influence over the Iraqi Kurds and the PKK. Barzani took over leadership of the Iraqi Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) in 1979 following the death of his father.[167] The KDP was the original Kurdish resistance party in Iraq, out of which Talabani’s PUK was born.[168]

            In the early 1980s Barzani and Ocalan formed an alliance which allowed the PKK to build camps and launch attacks on Turkey from northern Iraq.[169] Around five years later the alliance crumbled,[170] and relations eroded until the KDP and PUK united in combat against the PKK in an attempt to force the group to relocate to an area closer to the Iranian border.[171] Barzani and Talabani were concerned the PKK’s attacks from Iraq into Turkey would threaten the newly gained autonomy the Kurds were enjoying in Iraq.[172] The conflict resolved essentially nothing as the PKK returned to their old border camps after a banishment lasting only a few months.[173] In addition to fighting with Ocalan, the KDP and PUK clashed in the mid-1980s, but the prospect of autonomy within Iraq led to an alliance between the two.[174]

            Consistent with prior practice,[175] Barzani’s recent behavior has been more militant than Talabani’s.[176] Barzani stated the Iraqi Kurds would defend themselves against any Turkish strikes against PKK rebels within Iraq.[177] Barzani proceeded to expand upon that statement, vowing to fight against “any aggression.”[178] Barzani’s statements regarding defense imply he has significant influence over armed Kurds in northern Iraq, and perhaps then enough influence to drive the PKK out of Iraq. It has been suggested Barzani is hanging on to the PKK as a bargaining chip against Turkey which he will hang on to until he is forced to relinquish it.[179] Despite the militant tone of some of his statements, Barzani has maintained that a political solution is preferable.[180] Even those statements, though, were accompanied by a threat directed at Turkey not to use its conflict with the PKK as an excuse actually to attack the Iraqi Kurds.[181]

            Barzani appears to be mainly concerned with the possibility that Turkey’s underlying goal is not just to eliminate the PKK, but also to destabilize northern Iraq to such a degree that it will lose its autonomy and hopes for independence. This is a viewpoint shared by a number of Iraqi Kurds.[182] The real question is whether Barzani can organize and mobilize the Iraqi Kurds to push the PKK out of Iraq. If so, then it becomes important to identify what it will take to induce him to take such action. Presumably, Barzani is most concerned with the creation of an independent or highly autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan. Therefore, he will most likely seek political concessions from the central Iraqi government and security assurances from Turkey.

V.B. Proposal

 

            This section will address possible courses of action available to Turkey, and present some suggestions on strategies to employ going forward.

V.B.1. Avoid Full Scale Invasion

 

            The massive buildup of troops on the Iraqi border and the rhetoric of Turkish officials have created the perception that a large scale invasion into northern Iraq is a real possibility, if not an inevitability.[183] It would not be in Turkey’s best interests to pursue such a strategy because the substantial costs involved outweigh the minimal benefits which would result.

            The Turkish government seems to find invasion an unattractive option, and would much prefer some alternative solution. The government has said troops will not be sent in if the militants disarm.[184] The government has also exhibited reluctance to initiate a substantial military operation by considering alternative strategies including economic sanctions.[185] Many still believe a non-military solution, which Turkey seems to be more comfortable with, may still be feasible.[186]

            In fact, the large buildup of troops was probably never meant to actually be used as an invading force, but rather for negotiation purposes.[187] For this reason, it is important for Turkey to maintain its military presence along the border even if it does not invade Iraq. In order to maintain an effective bargaining position with the United States and Iraq, Turkey needs to maintain the threat of eventual invasion, which is the worst case scenario for Iraq and the United States. Turkey may not, and should not, want to invade, but the government needs to project the message that an invasion is preferable to maintaining the status quo. If Turkey sends its troops in, it loses this bargaining position. The United States and Iraq would no longer have an incentive to assist Turkey because the situation they were trying to avoid will have already occurred. Turkey should still be interested in employing the help of the United States and Iraq to deal with the PKK, and a unilateral invasion into Iraq would terminate those hopes.

            Historically, Turkish threats of military action against its neighbors have proved to be a more effective strategy by which to deal with the PKK than direct military confrontation. For example, Turkey amassed a significant military force on its border with Syria in 1998 and threatened to attack if Syria continued to house Ocalan.[188] In response, Syria gave Ocalan the option to leave the country voluntarily or be arrested by Syrian forces and delivered to the Turks.[189] Ocalan decided to leave the country, and thus began the sequence of events that led to his eventual abduction in Kenya and return to Turkey.[190] Multiple military confrontations with the PKK in the mountains of northern Iraq in the 1990s, on the other hand, produced only modest results and short-term setbacks for the PKK. In fact, it is quite likely the military campaigns of the 1990s only engendered heightened animosity from the Kurdish minority and actually helped to supply the PKK with new recruits.

            One cost which would result from a large scale invasion is the possible consequences regarding the oil running from Iraq through Turkey, and other economic considerations. The oil pipeline which runs from Kirkuk, Iraq through Turkey pumps 1.6 million barrels a day.[191] PKK rebels have threatened to attack the oil pipelines if Turkey invades.[192] Additionally, Turkish-Iraqi bilateral trade totals $5 billion per year.[193] An invasion would significantly reduce trade, if not completely terminate it, and would have substantial negative effects on the Turkish economy. Turkey’s economy is strong enough that it could withstand a cross-border invasion, evidence of this being Turkey’s ability to withstand the rising oil prices that have resulted from the current tensions.[194] The negative effects on the Turkish economy could have far-reaching impacts because of the pressures being placed on the economy by hopes of eventual EU accession. Despite the drastic recent improvements in the Turkish economy, it still lags behind those of EU countries and presents one of the greatest reasons for concern among EU countries regarding Turkish membership.[195]

            Another cost to consider is how a Turkish invasion of Iraq would most likely end or suspend negotiations for EU accession.[196] French President Sarkozy and German Chancellor Merkel have consistently opposed Turkish membership in the EU. EU President Manuel Lobo Antunes, among other influential EU officials have warned Turkey not to engage in a military solution without the approval of the international community.[197] Criticism from EU officials in response to Turkish bombing raids in Iraqi territory is further evidence of the negative consequences a large scale invasion would entail.[198] With eventual membership already threatened, it stands to reason a major military invasion without international support would operate as a death sentence.

            A large invasion would also deprive Turkey with an opportunity to use the present situation to improve its chances of EU membership. The longer Turkey remains on the border and refrains from engaging in a large invasion of Iraq, the better the chances public support will sway in favor of Turkey. Every public figure that has commented on the situation has made some statement to the effect that Turkey has the right to defend itself against the PKK. Others, including the NATO secretary general, have praised Turkey for the restraint shown thus far.[199] Turkey could gain significant public relations points by continuing to show restraint, and this could translate into greater willingness on the part of EU countries to extend membership to Turkey.

            There is also reason to believe that the frequency of PKK attacks is about to diminish. Historically, the PKK has reduced or suspended its attacks from the mountains during the winter months because of the harsh weather.[200] In fact, it is common practice for the PKK to offer a ceasefire as winter approaches, only to break it in the spring of the following year.[201] If the attacks decrease, as they usually do, over the winter Erdogan may find himself with a couple of relatively attack-free months in which public pressure for a military solution will diminish, and alternative solution can be pursued. Over the last couple of weeks, reports of attacks have lessened and optimism for a non-military solution has grown,[202] perhaps a sign of things to come.

            One additional reason to avoid invasion is the delay allows time to gauge the effectiveness of limited mountain strikes with improved technology. Turkey currently engages in limited mountain strikes against the rebels with the aid of American intelligence regarding rebel location.[203] Some believe the improvements in military technology have significantly improved Turkey’s capacity to fight the PKK rebels in the mountains.[204] While unlikely, it is possible Turkey could achieve its objectives with a military solution that does not involve a full scale invasion. The Iraqi government has recently asked the Turkish government for time to implement the anti-PKK measures it has promised to undertake, which the government claims will be effective in curtailing PKK activity.[205] Such a strategy would placate the Turkish military and public internally without creating an external rift with the United States, Iraq, or the international community.

            Not only is it in Turkey’s best interests to refrain from a large invasion, but the current circumstances allow for such a strategy. The main problem the government faces by not invading is internal discontent among the public and the military. A recent poll indicated 81% of the Turkish public supported a military incursion into Iraq to crush the PKK.[206] Given the history of Turkish politics, there is good reason for the government to fear a military takeover if the public becomes increasingly dissatisfied with a lack of military action. The rhetoric emerging from military officers has tended to be more militant than that coming from the government.[207] Public patriotism and support for a military response is tied, to a large extent, to the continued attacks by the PKK. Such feelings currently run strong, as evidenced by the crowds of thousands that have attended the recent funerals of Turkish soldiers killed by the PKK.[208]

V.B.2. Economic Sanctions

 

            Turkish officials have already publicly considered the use of economic sanctions against Iraq.[209]  The sanctions discussed, though, have been limited to targeting outlawed militants and groups providing them with support in northern Iraq.[210] It is questionable whether economic sanctions could effectively interrupt the PKK’s financial support from Kurds in Europe, and specifically Germany where an estimated 600,000 Kurdish immigrants currently live.[211] A strategy available to Turkey in the event the current arrangement with the United States and Turkey proves to be inadequate is the imposition of broader economic sanctions against northern Iraq more generally, or the country as a whole. Much of the economy of northern Iraq is based on Turkish investment, so unilateral economic sanctions imposed by Turkey would put significant pressure on Kurdish Iraq without requiring coordination with or support from other countries.[212]

             One significant benefit of general economic sanctions is it puts pressure on the northern Iraqis, and Barzani in particular. It is uncertain whether Barzani is in a position to force the PKK out of Iraq or at least cut off its flow of supplies.[213] Broad economic sanctions could threaten the economic stability of the region, thereby threatening its autonomy from the rest of Iraq. Barzani, then, would no longer have the luxury of continuing inaction against the PKK in the hopes of gaining concessions. Thus far, Barzani has refused to send out his fighters to push the PKK out of the country.[214] While it is entirely possible, and perhaps probable, that Barzani does not actually have the ability to kick the PKK out of Iraq, economic sanctions could at least force his hand and make clearer what exactly his capacity is.

            The economic impact on Turkey of such a maneuver would be significant, but thus far the Turkish economy has exhibited the strength to withstand the negative economic effects involved with the tensions.[215] Additionally, Turkey would enjoy the benefits and avoid the costs involved with a major military operation within Iraq’s borders. If everything works out perfectly, Barzani uses his Iraqi Kurd fighters to either push the PKK out of Iraq completely, or leave them stranded in the mountains without supplies and significantly more willing to accept a settlement on Turkey’s terms.

V.B.3. Internal Political Reform

 

            So long as Turkey continues to wage a war against its Kurdish minority militarily, politically, and culturally, it will face resistance, and probably armed resistance, in some form. One of the primary reasons behind the PKK’s popularity is the Kurdish minority’s disillusionment with the political process as an avenue for actual change and improvement.[216] Unless Turkish Kurds perceive the political process as capable of providing an adequate solution, there is no reason to believe support for the PKK or a similar organization, such as the PKK offshoot the TAK,[217] will substantially decline. Therefore, in order to achieve a long term solution to the “Kurdish question,” Turkey must institute internal reforms which adequately address that question.

            Any political gains made by Kurdish politicians or Kurdish parties have consistently been undercut by the armed activities of the PKK.[218] Any member of a Kurdish political party is faced with the hindrances of being branded a PKK sympathizer, and being told a political solution is impossible until the PKK abandons its military tactics.[219] Current members of the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party (DTP) have not helped the situation by calling for Kurdish national independence in the midst of current tensions.[220]

            Recently, Turkish prosecutors have succeeded in acquiring an indictment against all 20 DTP members of parliament before the Constitutional Court.[221] The charge is brought under Article 301 of the Penal Code, which essentially makes it a crime to insult Turkey or Turkishness.[222] It is a vaguely worded statute vulnerable to misuse by overzealous prosecutors.[223] Many pro-Kurdish parties preceding the DTP have been shut down due to prosecutions under Article 301.[224]

            Article 301 is a problematic statute which needs to either be amended or repealed. Article 301 has been a major impediment to Turkey’s membership in the EU.[225] Additionally, prosecutions and convictions under Article 301 only reaffirm the perception of Kurdish Turks that the Turkish government cannot provide a viable solution to the “Kurdish question.” Prime Minister Erdogan has correctly condemned the current prosecutions, fearing all they will do is push Turkish Kurds back into the mountains and towards the rebels.[226] Supposedly Erdogan is going to interfere with the prosecutions as he should, because his thinking is correct.[227] Prosecutions and convictions of Kurdish politicians under Article 301 will only alienate more Kurdish Turks and provide more recruits and support for the PKK.

            One encouraging sign, although overshadowed and perhaps negated by the recent indictments, is the recently drafted amendments to Article 301 which are to be presented to the Parliament.[228] Turkish politicians need to support the amendments to Article 301 because the current statute allows overzealous prosecutors too much flexibility in bringing charges, and is contributing to the current tension and instability within Turkey. It seems unlikely such amendments would pass in the current circumstances, so Erdogan needs to follow up on his earlier statements and impede the progress of the prosecutions however he can.

            One other issue Turkey needs to consider seriously is that of amnesty for PKK rebels who put down their weapons. It seems unlikely the PKK would be part of any agreement that did not include some sort of amnesty provision.[229] There will be significant resistance within Turkey to any kind of amnesty, as is evident from the viewpoint of military officers who feel Turkey should execute Ocalan.[230] Nonetheless, there are 3,000 PKK fighters currently located in Iraq and if they are presented with no future in Turkey, it is unlikely they will stop fighting. Therefore, any proposal that is presented to the PKK needs to include an amnesty provision for at least the common rebels. The government could avoid some conflict with the military and public by refusing amnesty to high level PKK officials. If the number of rebels without amnesty is low enough, it becomes more probable that the majority of fighters who are stuck in the mountains in winter would leave while the top officers would just remain hidden in Iraq. If that is the case, further negotiations could be conducted between Turkey and Iraq regarding extradition, but the current crisis would be averted.

VI. Conclusion

 

            Thus far, the Turkish government has handled the situation exceedingly well. Turkey has been able to maintain domestic stability by taking a hard enough stance on the PKK to placate the public and military hard-liners. At the same time, the threat of invasion has been used to gain concessions from the United States regarding intelligence. Additionally, Turkey’s EU candidacy has not yet been in peril. Going forward, Turkey’s greatest challenge will be to initiate internal reforms which will bring the Turkish Kurds into the political process and out of the mountains.



[1]Sabrina Tavernise, In the Rugged Northern Iraq, Kurdish Rebels Flout Turkey, International Herald Tribune, Oct. 29, 2007,  http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/10/29/africa/29kurds.php.

[2] Aliza Marcus, Blood and Belief: the Kurdish Fight for Independence 2 (New York University Press 2007); International Crisis Group, Turkey and Europe: The Way Ahead 6 (2007).

[4] Ali Kemal Ozcan, Turkey’s Kurds: A Theoretical Analysis of the PKK and Abdullah Ocalan 140 Routledge 2006).

[5] Id. at 138-39.

[6] Marcus supra note 2, at 10.

[7] Ozcan supra note 4, at 78.

[8] Id. at 84.

[9] Id. at 85.

[10] Id. at 84-85.

[11] Id. at 79.

[12] Marcus, supra note 2, at 18.

[13] Id. at 10.

[14] Id.

[15] International Crisis Group, supra note 2, at 9.

[16] Id. at 5.

[17] Id. at 10.

[18] Id. at 9.

[19] Marcus, supra note 2, at 126.

[20] Id.

[21] Marcus, supra note 2, at 10.

[22] Id.

[23] Id.

[24] Ozcan, supra note 4, at 93.

[25] Marcus, supra note 2, at 15.

[26] Id. at 17.

[27] Id. at 17-18.

[28] Ozcan, supra note 4, at 88.

[29] Marcus, supra note 2, at 23.

[30] Id. at 24-25.

[31] Id. at 25.

[32] Ozcan, supra note 4, at 93.

[33] Id. at 128.

[34] Marcus, supra note 2, at 46-47.

[35] Id. at 44-45.

[36] Id.

[37] Id. at 45.

[38] Id. at 48.

[39] Id. at 115.

[40] Id. at 203.

[41] Id. at 204.

[42] Id. at 51.

[43] Id. at 52.

[44] Id. at 53.

[45] Id. at 75.

[46] Id. at 67.

[47] Id. at 75.

[48] Id. at 211.

[49] Id. at 80.

[50] Id. at 83.

[51] Id. at 82.

[52] Id. at 82.

[53]Steven Bryant & Camilla Hall, Turkey Says Army Killed 15 PKK Fighters Near Iraq (Update2), Bloomberg, Oct. 31, 2007,  http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=amuzgRsMszwE&refer=home; David Clarke &Thomas Grove,  Turkish Planes Bomb Iraq Kurdish Village: Iraqi Kurd, Reuters Canada, Oct. 24, 2007, http://ca.today.reuters.com/news/NewsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=uri:2007-10-24T194100Z_01_L13546086_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-TURKEY-IRAQ-COL.XML&pageNumber=2&summit.

[54] Marcus, supra note 2, at 170.

[55] Id. at 286.

[56]Michael Kuser, Will War Worries Hit Turkey’s Economy?, BusinessWeek Nov. 5, 2007,  http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/nov2007/gb2007115_657423.htm?chan=globalbiz_europe+index+page_top+stories.

[57] Goading Ankara to Overreach, The Economist, Nov. 15, 2007, http://www.economist.com/books/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10130690.

[58]Goading Ankara to Overreach, The Economist, Nov. 15, 2007, http://www.economist.com/books/displaystory.cfm?story_id=10130690.

[59] Marcus, supra note 2, at 212.

[60] Id. at 213.

[61] Id.

[62] Andrew McGregor, Turkey’s Generals Speak out on Counter-Terrorism Strategies, Global Terrorism Analysis, published by the Jamestown Foundation, Nov. 20, 2007,  http://jamestown.org/terrorism/news/article.php?articleid=2373801.

[63] Marcus, supra note 2, at 214.

[64] Id.

[65] Ozcan, supra note 4, at 101.

[66] Id. at 105.

[67] Id. at 115-16.

[68] Id. at 109.

[69] Id. at 115.

[70] Id. at 158.

[71] Id.

[72] Id. (emphasis in original).

[73] Marcus, supra note 2, at 197.

[74] Id. at 198.

[75] Id. at 173.

[76] Id. at 94.

[77] Id. at 135.

[78] Id.

[79] Id. at 95.

[80] George Friedman, The Geopolitics of Turkey, Stratfor, July 31, 2007.

[81]Gareth Jones, Most Turks Back N. Iraq Incursion, Dislike US – Poll, Reuters, Nov. 16, 2007, http://www.reuters.com/article/middleeastCrisis/idUSL16647194.

[82] Marcus, supra note 2, at 103.

[83] Id. at 301.

[84] World Oil Prices Strike Record Highs on Turkey-PKK Tensions, AFP, Oct. 15, 2007, http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5g4eVJTMIlrvBHqDxrznollDm0kdA.

[85] Christopher Torchia, Turkey: Any Attack on Iraq Not Invasion, Guardian Unlimited, Nov. 1, 2007,  http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-7042510,00.html,.

[86] Michael Kuser, Will War Worries Hit Turkey’s Economy?, BusinessWeek Nov. 5, 2007,  http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/nov2007/gb2007115_657423.htm?chan=globalbiz_europe+index+page_top+stories.

[87] Christopher Torchia, Turkey: Any Attack on Iraq Not Invasion, Guardian Unlimited, Nov. 1, 2007,  http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-7042510,00.html

[88] Andrew McGregor, Turkey’s Generals Speak out on Counter-Terrorism Strategies, Global Terrorism Analysis, published by the Jamestown Foundation, Nov. 20, 2007, http://jamestown.org/terrorism/news/article.php?articleid=2373801.

[89] Eric Oddo, The Three State Solution to Iraq.

[90] Human Rights Watch, Turkey: Human Rights Concerns in the Lead up to July Parliamentary Elections  4 (2007).

[91] Id.

[92] International Crisis Group, supra note 2, at 15.

[93] International Crisis Group, supra note 2, at 29-30.

[94]Turkey Expects US Actions Against Kurd Rebels – PM, Reuters, Oct. 20, 2007, http://www.reuters.com/article/middleeastCrisis/idUSL20227949.

[95] Gareth Jones, Most Turks Back N. Iraq Incursion, Dislike US – Poll, Reuters, Nov. 16, 2007, http://www.reuters.com/article/middleeastCrisis/idUSL16647194.

[96] Turkish Commander Says Turkey Preparing for Cross-Border Operations, International Herald Tribune, Nov. 16, 2007, http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/11/15/europe/EU-GEN-Turkey-Iraq.php.

[97] International Crisis Group, supra note 2, at 30.

[98] Id. at 4-5.

[99] The island is populated by a Greek majority and Turkish minority. The Greek Cypriot majority enjoys international recognition of its independence and has been admitted into the EU. Turkey is the only country to recognize the independence of the Turkish Cypriots. Recent attempts to form a united Cyprus have failed. Id. at 17.

[100] Id. at 13.

[101] Id. at 9.

[102] Id. at 29.

[103] Id. at 11-12.

[104] Unearthing the Past, Endangering the Future, The Economist, Oct. 18, 2007, http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=9987685.

[105] Omer Taspinar & Philip H. Gordon, Turkey on the Brink, Brookings Institution, Summer 2006, http://www.brookings.edu/articles/2006/summer_turkey_gordon.aspx.

[106] Gareth Jones, Most Turks Back N. Iraq Incursion, Dislike US – Poll, Reuters, Nov. 16, 2007, http://www.reuters.com/article/middleeastCrisis/idUSL16647194.

[107] International Crisis Group, supra note 2, at 9.

[108] Marcus, supra note 2, at 103.

[109] Id. at 245.

[110] Id.

[111] Id.

[112] Turkish Commander Says Turkey Preparing for Cross-Border Operations, International Herald Tribune, Nov. 16, 2007, http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/11/15/europe/EU-GEN-Turkey-Iraq.php.

[113] Andrew McGregor, Turkey’s Generals Speak out on Counter-Terrorism Strategies, Global Terrorism Analysis, published by the Jamestown Foundation, Nov. 20, 2007, http://jamestown.org/terrorism/news/article.php?articleid=2373801.

[114] Andrew McGregor, Turkey’s Generals Speak out on Counter-Terrorism Strategies, Global Terrorism Analysis, published by the Jamestown Foundation, Nov. 20, 2007, http://jamestown.org/terrorism/news/article.php?articleid=2373801.

[115] Andrew McGregor, Turkey’s Generals Speak out on Counter-Terrorism Strategies, Global Terrorism Analysis, published by the Jamestown Foundation, Nov. 20, 2007, http://jamestown.org/terrorism/news/article.php?articleid=2373801.

[116] Guy Ben-Ari & Sam Brannen, Turkey’s Military Options for Confronting the PKK in Northern Iraq, World Politics Review, Nov. 7, 2007, http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/article.aspx?id=1324.

[117] Guy Ben-Ari & Sam Brannen, Turkey’s Military Options for Confronting the PKK in Northern Iraq, World Politics Review, Nov. 7, 2007, http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/article.aspx?id=1324.

[118] Report: US Shares Intelligence with Turkey About Kurdish Rebels, International Herald Tribune, Nov. 14, 2007, http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/11/14/europe/EU-GEN-Turkey-Kurds.php.

[119] Ozcan, supra note 4, at 104.

[120] Id.

[121] Id. at 129.

[122] Id. at 128.

[123] Marcus, supra note 2, at 82.

[124] Id. at 293.

[125] Id.

[126] Id. at 179.

[127] Gareth Jones, Top Turkish Court to Consider Shutting Kurd Party, Reuters, Nov. 23, 2007, http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSL23715926.

[128]  Michael Kuser, Will War Worries Hit Turkey’s Economy?, BusinessWeek Nov. 5, 2007,  http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/nov2007/gb2007115_657423.htm?chan=globalbiz_europe+index+page_top+stories.

[129] Guy Ben-Ari & Sam Brannen, Turkey’s Military Options for Confronting the PKK in Northern Iraq, World Politics Review, Nov. 7, 2007, http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/article.aspx?id=1324.

[130] Marcus, supra note 2, at 181.

[131] Michael Kuser, Will War Worries Hit Turkey’s Economy?, BusinessWeek Nov. 5, 2007,  http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/nov2007/gb2007115_657423.htm?chan=globalbiz_europe+index+page_top+stories.

[132] Andrew Purvis, Erdogan Talks Turkey in Washington, TIME, Nov. 7, 2007, http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1680526,00.html.

[133] Steven Bryant & Camilla Hall, Turkey Says Army Killed 15 PKK Fighters Near Iraq (Update2), Bloomberg, Oct. 31, 2007,  http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=amuzgRsMszwE&refer=home.

[134] Iraqi Kurdish Leader Calls for Talks with Turkey, Promises to Defend Homeland, International Herald Tribune, Oct. 18, 2007, http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/10/19/africa/ME-GEN-Iraq.php.

[135] David Clarke &Thomas Grove,  Turkish Planes Bomb Iraq Kurdish Village: Iraqi Kurd, Reuters Canada, Oct. 24, 2007, http://ca.today.reuters.com/news/NewsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=uri:2007-10-24T194100Z_01_L13546086_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-TURKEY-IRAQ-COL.XML&pageNumber=2&summit.

[136] George Friedman, The Geopolitics of Turkey, Stratfor, July 31, 2007.

[137] Id.

[138] Id.

[139]Barbara Starr, U.S. Military Looking at Alternatives in Case Turkey Cuts Access, CNN, Oct. 13, 2007, http://edition.cnn.com/2007/US/10/12/us.turkey/index.html.

[140] Daniel Fried, The United States and Turkish Relations and the Challenge Ahead, DISAM, July 2007, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0IAJ/is_3_29/ai_n19396139.

[141] Barbara Starr, U.S. Military Looking at Alternatives in Case Turkey Cuts Access, CNN, Oct. 13, 2007, http://edition.cnn.com/2007/US/10/12/us.turkey/index.html.

[142] Barbara Starr, U.S. Military Looking at Alternatives in Case Turkey Cuts Access, CNN, Oct. 13, 2007, http://edition.cnn.com/2007/US/10/12/us.turkey/index.html.

[143] International Crisis Group, supra note 2, at 11.

[144] Daniel Fried, The United States and Turkish Relations and the Challenge Ahead, DISAM, July 2007, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0IAJ/is_3_29/ai_n19396139.

[145] Daniel Fried, The United States and Turkish Relations and the Challenge Ahead, DISAM, July 2007, http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0IAJ/is_3_29/ai_n19396139.

[146] Turkey and America: Indispensible Allies at a Crossroads, The Brookings Institution, 35-36, May 10, 2007, http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/events/2007/0510turkey/20070510.pdf.

[147] Andrew Purvis, Erdogan Talks Turkey in Washington, TIME, Nov. 7, 2007, http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1680526,00.html.

[148] Turkey and America: Indispensible Allies at a Crossroads, The Brookings Institution, 21, May 10, 2007, http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Files/events/2007/0510turkey/20070510.pdf.

[149] Deputy PM: Turkish Military Operations Would Destabilize N. Iraq, CNNMoney.com, Nov. 19, 2007, http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200711191704DOWJONESDJONLINE000570_FORTUNE5.htm.

[150] Turkey-Iraq: Kurds, If Attacked, We Shall Strike at Oil, AGI, Oct. 19, 2007 http://www.agi.it/world/news/200710191942-cro-ren0101-art.html; PKK Could Attack Oil-Pipelines: Agency Reports, EuroNews, Oct. 19, 2007,  http://www.euronews.net/index.php?page=info&article=449214&lng=1.

[151] World Oil Prices Strike Record Highs on Turkey-PKK Tensions, AFP, Oct. 15, 2007, http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5g4eVJTMIlrvBHqDxrznollDm0kdA.

[152] Deputy PM: Turkish Military Operations Would Destabilize N. Iraq, CNNMoney.com, Nov. 19, 2007, http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200711191704DOWJONESDJONLINE000570_FORTUNE5.htm.

[153] Deputy PM: Turkish Military Operations Would Destabilize N. Iraq, CNNMoney.com, Nov. 19, 2007, http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200711191704DOWJONESDJONLINE000570_FORTUNE5.htm.

[154] Turkey Expects US Actions Against Kurd Rebels – PM, Reuters, Oct. 20, 2007, http://www.reuters.com/article/middleeastCrisis/idUSL20227949.

[155] Turkey Getting U.S. Intelligence on PKK, Associated Press, Oct. 31, 2007, http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hKZ2pJRRO2bl3CvsmdIkbTtDbjHgD8SKDAN82.

[156] Sedat Laciner, The Existence of the PKK Terrorism in Iraq and the United States, The Journal of Turkish Weekly, Oct. 18, 2007, http://www.turkishweekly.net/news.php?id=49631.

[157] Steven Bryant & Camilla Hall, Turkey Says Army Killed 15 PKK Fighters Near Iraq (Update2), Bloomberg, Oct. 31, 2007,  http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=amuzgRsMszwE&refer=home.

[158] Turkey: US Won’t Stop Iraq Invasion, Oct. 25, CBS News, 2007, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/10/25/iraq/main3408593.shtml?source=mostpop_story.

[159] Sabrina Tavernise, Kurdish Rebels Ask for Talks with Turkey, International Herald Tribune, Oct. 23, 2007, http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/10/23/europe/23turkey.php?page=1.

[160] War Update: Iraqi Leader Cracks Down on Rebel Kurds, newday.com, Oct. 24, 2007, http://www.newsday.com/news/printedition/world/ny-wokurd245429862oct24,0,507193.story.

[161] Marcus, supra note 2, at 41.

[162] Id.

[163] Id. at 123.

[164] Id. at 204.

[165] Michael Howard, Turkey Bombards Northern Iraq After Ambush, Guardian Unlimited, Oct. 21, 2007, http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,2196358,00.html.

[166] Iraq President Tells Turkey ‘No Can Do’ on Rebel Leaders, IC Publications, Oct. 21, 2007, http://www.africasia.com/services/news/newsitem.php?area=mideast&item=071021170246.nvgmz0mm.php.

[167] Marcus, supra note 2, at 68.

[168] Id.

[169] Id. at 69-70.

[170] Id. at 123.

[171] Id. at 203-04.

[172] Id. at 202.

[173] Id. at 205.

[174] Id. at 69, 202.

[175] Id. at 204.

[176] Iraqi Kurdistan Warns Turkey on Incursion, MSNBC, Oct. 19, 2007, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21380016/.

[177]  Iraqi Kurdish Leader Calls for Talks with Turkey, Promises to Defend Homeland, International Herald Tribune, Oct. 18, 2007, http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/10/19/africa/ME-GEN-Iraq.php.

[178] Iraqi Kurdistan Warns Turkey on Incursion, MSNBC, Oct. 19, 2007, http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21380016/.

[179] Sabrina Tavernise, In the Rugged Northern Iraq, Kurdish Rebels Flout Turkey, International Herald Tribune, Oct. 29, 2007, http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/10/29/africa/29kurds.php.

[180] Turkey: US Won’t Stop Iraq Invasion, Oct. 25, CBS News, 2007, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/10/25/iraq/main3408593.shtml?source=mostpop_story.

[181] Turkey: US Won’t Stop Iraq Invasion, Oct. 25, CBS News, 2007, http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/10/25/iraq/main3408593.shtml?source=mostpop_story.

[182] Christopher Torchia, Turkey: Any Attack on Iraq Not Invasion, Guardian Unlimited, Nov. 1, 2007,  http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,,-7042510,00.html

[183] Gareth Jones, Turkey Urges Kurd Rebels to Disarm Amid Iraq Tension, Reuters, Nov. 16, 2007,

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L16604665.htm.

[184] Turks Move to Ban Pro-Kurdish Party, International Herald Tribune, Nov. 16, 2007, http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/11/16/europe/turkey.php.

[185] Evren Mesci & Hidir Goktas, Turkey Aims for Targeted Sanctions in Northern Iraq, Reuters Canada, Nov. 1, 2007, http://ca.today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2007-11-01T161520Z_01_L13546086_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-TURKEY-IRAQ-COL.XML&archived=False.

[186] Deputy PM: Turkish Military Operations Would Destabilize N. Iraq, CNNMoney.com, Nov. 19, 2007, http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200711191704DOWJONESDJONLINE000570_FORTUNE5.htm.

[187] Guy Ben-Ari & Sam Brannen, Turkey’s Military Options for Confronting the PKK in Northern Iraq, World Politics Review, Nov. 7, 2007, http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/article.aspx?id=1324.

[188] Marcus, supra note 2, at 270-71.

[189] Id. at 271.

[190] Id. at 279.

[191] Deputy PM: Turkish Military Operations Would Destabilize N. Iraq, CNNMoney.com, Nov. 19, 2007, http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200711191704DOWJONESDJONLINE000570_FORTUNE5.htm.

[192] Turkey-Iraq: Kurds, If Attacked, We Shall Strike at Oil, AGI, Oct. 19, 2007 http://www.agi.it/world/news/200710191942-cro-ren0101-art.html.

[193] Evren Mesci & Hidir Goktas, Turkey Aims for Targeted Sanctions in Northern Iraq, Reuters Canada, Nov. 1, 2007, http://ca.today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2007-11-01T161520Z_01_L13546086_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-TURKEY-IRAQ-COL.XML&archived=False.

[194] Michael Kuser, Will War Worries Hit Turkey’s Economy?, BusinessWeek Nov. 5, 2007,  http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/nov2007/gb2007115_657423.htm?chan=globalbiz_europe+index+page_top+stories.

[195] International Crisis Group, supra note 2, at 10.

[196] Id. at 29.

[197] EU Calls for Restraint as Turkey Launches Air Strikes, Deutsche Welle, Oct. 24, 2007,  http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,2845423,00.html.

[198] Linda Young, E.U. Criticizes Turkey Bombing PKK Rebels in Iraq, Urges Iraq Stop Rebel Attacks on Turkey, AHN, Dec. 17, 2007, http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7009477035.

[199] Sebnem Arsu, Turkey Strikes at Kurdish Positions from Air, International Herald Tribune, Oct. 24, 2007, http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/10/24/africa/turkey.php.

[200] Sabrina Tavernise, Kurdish Rebels Ask for Talks with Turkey, International Herald Tribune, Oct. 23, 2007, http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/10/23/europe/23turkey.php.

[201] Sabrina Tavernise, Kurdish Rebels Ask for Talks with Turkey, International Herald Tribune, Oct. 23, 2007, http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/10/23/europe/23turkey.php.

[202] Deputy PM: Turkish Military Operations Would Destabilize N. Iraq, CNNMoney.com, Nov. 19, 2007, http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/articles/djf500/200711191704DOWJONESDJONLINE000570_FORTUNE5.htm.

[203] Turkey Getting U.S. Intelligence on PKK, Associated Press, Oct. 31, 2007, http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hKZ2pJRRO2bl3CvsmdIkbTtDbjHgD8SKDAN82.

[204] Guy Ben-Ari & Sam Brannen, Turkey’s Military Options for Confronting the PKK in Northern Iraq, World Politics Review, Nov. 7, 2007, http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/article.aspx?id=1324.

[205] Iraq Asks Turkey for Time to Take Steps Against PKK, Reuters, Nov. 17, 2007, http://www.reuters.com/article/middleeastCrisis/idUSCOL749471, 2007-11-17, Reuters, Iraq asks Turkey for time to take steps against PKK

[206] Gareth Jones, Most Turks Back N. Iraq Incursion, Dislike US – Poll, Reuters, Nov. 16, 2007, http://www.reuters.com/article/middleeastCrisis/idUSL16647194.

[207] Turkish Commander Says Turkey Preparing for Cross-Border Operations, International Herald Tribune, Nov. 16, 2007, http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/11/15/europe/EU-GEN-Turkey-Iraq.php.

[208] Turkish Commander Says Turkey Preparing for Cross-Border Operations, International Herald Tribune, Nov. 16, 2007, http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/11/15/europe/EU-GEN-Turkey-Iraq.php.

[209] Evren Mesci & Hidir Goktas, Turkey Aims for Targeted Sanctions in Northern Iraq, Reuters Canada, Nov. 1, 2007, http://ca.today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2007-11-01T161520Z_01_L13546086_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-TURKEY-IRAQ-COL.XML&archived=False.

[210] Evren Mesci & Hidir Goktas, Turkey Aims for Targeted Sanctions in Northern Iraq, Reuters Canada, Nov. 1, 2007, http://ca.today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2007-11-01T161520Z_01_L13546086_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-TURKEY-IRAQ-COL.XML&archived=False.

[211] EU Calls for Restraint as Turkey Launches Air Strikes, Deutsche Welle, Oct. 24, 2007,  http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,2845423,00.html.

[212] Evren Mesci & Hidir Goktas, Turkey Aims for Targeted Sanctions in Northern Iraq, Reuters Canada, Nov. 1, 2007, http://ca.today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=topNews&storyID=2007-11-01T161520Z_01_L13546086_RTRIDST_0_NEWS-TURKEY-IRAQ-COL.XML&archived=False.

[213] Sabrina Tavernise, In the Rugged Northern Iraq, Kurdish Rebels Flout Turkey, International Herald Tribune, Oct. 29, 2007, http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/10/29/africa/29kurds.php.

[214] Italy: Experts Debate Turkey’s Emerging Regional and Global Role, AKI, Nov. 19, 2007, http://www.adnkronos.com/AKI/English/Politics/?id=1.0.1572048829.

[215] Michael Kuser, Will War Worries Hit Turkey’s Economy?, BusinessWeek Nov. 5, 2007,  http://www.businessweek.com/globalbiz/content/nov2007/gb2007115_657423.htm?chan=globalbiz_europe+index+page_top+stories.

[216] Marcus, supra note 2, at 82.

[217] International Crisis Group, supra note 2, at 14.

[218] Marcus, supra note 2, at 207.

[219] Turks Move to Ban Pro-Kurdish Party, International Herald Tribune, Nov. 16, 2007, http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/11/16/europe/turkey.php.

[220] Turks Move to Ban Pro-Kurdish Party, International Herald Tribune, Nov. 16, 2007, http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/11/16/europe/turkey.php.

[221] Gareth Jones, Top Turkish Court to Consider Shutting Kurd Party, Reuters, Nov. 23, 2007, http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSL23715926.

[222] Gareth Jones, Top Turkish Court to Consider Shutting Kurd Party, Reuters, Nov. 23, 2007, http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSL23715926.

[223] International Crisis Group, supra note 2, at 10.

[224] Gareth Jones, Top Turkish Court to Consider Shutting Kurd Party, Reuters, Nov. 23, 2007, http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSL23715926.

[225] International Crisis Group, supra note 2, at 10.

[226] Turks Move to Ban Pro-Kurdish Party, International Herald Tribune, Nov. 16, 2007, http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/11/16/europe/turkey.php.

[227] Gareth Jones, Top Turkish Court to Consider Shutting Kurd Party, Reuters, Nov. 23, 2007, http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSL23715926.

[228] Ankara Moves to Amend Ban on Insults to Turkey, International Herald Tribune, Nov. 6, 2007, http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/11/06/europe/turkey.php.

[229] Gareth Jones, Turkey Urges Kurd Rebels to Disarm Amid Iraq Tension, Reuters, Nov. 16, 2007, http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/L16604665.htm.

[230] Andrew McGregor, Turkey’s Generals Speak out on Counter-Terrorism Strategies, Global Terrorism Analysis, published by the Jamestown Foundation, Nov. 20, 2007, http://jamestown.org/terrorism/news/article.php?articleid=2373801.