The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] News, 19-26/02/03 (1)

News, 19-26/02/03 (1)


*  US offloads ammunition in Turkey
*  Why Turkey is reluctant to see a war
*  Turkey's leader blames EU for failing to give political support in crisis
*  Turkish military calls for return of emergency rule
*  A Turkish 'no' to U.S. would make it tougher
*  Ankara tries to play both sides
*  Turkey fouls up the US works
*  Worried about war? Imagine what it's like in Turkey
*  Blame Turkey's mood on the U. S. 
*  Vote is nearing in Turkey on American use of bases
*  Turkey's Cabinet Approves Plan, With Details Lacking, for U.S. Troops
*  Turkey Delays Final Vote on U.S. Troops
*  Turkoman minority offers gateway for Ankara's influence


Dawn, 20th February

ISTANBUL, Feb 19: The United States military off-loaded armoured vehicles
and ammunition at a port in southeastern Turkey on Wednesday as it prepared
for a possible war against Iraq, the state-run Anatolian news agency

It was not immediately clear if the arrival of the armoured vehicles and
military trucks, which local television channels NTV and CNN Turk said
numbered hundreds, was outside an existing agreement allowing the U.S.
military to upgrade Turkish bases.

The vehicles and ammunition were offloaded from a 45,000-ton "Ro-Ro" cargo
ship named "Tellus" under the supervision of some 50 U.S. soldiers, the
agency said. A mobile satellite communication system was also set up nearby,
it added.

Turkey says the U.S. must first agree to billions of dollars in grants and
loan guarantees before its parliament votes on whether to allow tens of
thousands of troops into the country.

The impasse on that lending has caused much consternation in Washington.

The agency also reported heavy traffic at the Incirlik airbase in southern
Turkey, where U.S. and British warplanes patrol a 'no-fly zone' over
northern Iraq, a Kurdish-controlled region out of Baghdad's control.

It said two AWACs early warning aircraft, as well as a large number of F-16
fighter jets and tanker aircraft, took off from the base.-Reuters

by Paul Salopek
Seattle Times, from Chicago Tribune, 20th February

CIZRE, Turkey — To understand why Turkey, one of America's staunchest
allies, has had to be dragged kicking and screaming onto the U.S. war
bandwagon against Iraq, one need look no further than the vast truck
graveyards ringing this old caravan town on the fabled Silk Road to the

Arrayed in ranks like the fallen knights of a slaughtered army, at least
48,000 rusty Fiats, Volvos and Fords are sinking into the muddy plains
around Cizre — the wheeled casualties of a once-bustling highway trade with
neighboring Iraq that has been ruptured by years of United Nations sanctions
and, more recently, by growing war jitters.

"A few years ago, so many trucks were crossing into Iraq that you would have
waited 20 minutes to walk across our main street," said Heybet Karasi, a
jobless trucker whose mother hawked her dowry jewels to buy a tanker truck
for importing Iraqi diesel into Turkey. "Now the border is mostly closed.
You can sleep in the middle of the road if you want to."

Along the main road outside of Cizre, the only traffic consists of convoys
carrying M-113 armored personnel carriers and M-60 and M-48 tanks rumbling
along as Turkey reinforces its soldiers at the border.

Karasi, 18, could well be counted among the first victims of an Iraq war
that has yet to start.

Along the border, there is panic that any war could lead Saddam Hussein to
lash out at Turkey, NATO's only Muslim member and an ally of the United

Many people fled the area in 1991 at the end of the Gulf War, when Saddam's
troops crushed an Iraqi Kurdish uprising, sending hundreds of thousands
across the freezing mountains that mark the border.

Now, amid an economic crisis, many people on the Turkish border say they
don't have enough money to flee and are preparing for the worst.

"I don't think the government will distribute gas masks or chemical suits to
us," said Idris Akpinar, a grocer. "The best thing they can do is to tell us
beforehand to evacuate the area, but I don't have money to go anywhere

Other locals are stocking their basements with sacks of flour, sugar and
water in case they have to seek shelter during a war. They're also sealing
their windows with a thick, brown tape popularly called "Saddam tape" that
many say will seal rooms and make them safe if there is a chemical attack.

The woes of this shabby border town, where most families have lost a crucial
part of their incomes to selectively enforced U.N. embargoes against Iraq,
illuminate the root of the Turkish public's deep opposition to any U.S. war
against Iraqi leader Saddam: a frighteningly vulnerable economy.

"Turks recall that we've been through all this before," said a senior
government official in Ankara, referring to the price Turkey paid in lost
trade and foreign investment while supporting the United States in the
1990-91 Persian Gulf War. "It doesn't matter what economic guarantees
America gives us today. In the end America will walk away. We will be left
with the aftermath."

Turkey also fears that instability in northern Iraq could spread to
southeastern Turkey.

Indeed, Ankara even blames an upsurge in Kurdish separatist activities in
the 1990s on the hardships caused by sanctions. The border area of
southeastern Turkey is overwhelmingly Kurdish, and many Turkish Kurds have
relatives across the border.

Cizre was once at the center of Turkish Kurdish rebel fighting. The bullet
holes that riddled walls just a few years ago have been covered up, but
Turkish soldiers still patrol the city streets. And local Kurds still
privately discuss the fights between Kurdish rebels and Turkish soldiers.

Turkey shares a 150-mile-long border with Iraq. The government claims that
Turkey has lost $40 billion in trade during the past 12 years of U.N.
sanctions against Baghdad — embargoes imposed primarily to limit Saddam's
ability to develop weapons of mass destruction. Independent analysts put
Turkey's losses considerably lower, at $10 billion to $15 billion.

Whatever the figure, few question that Turkey has suffered economically for
backing Washington in the long standoff with Iraq. Nowhere is that pain
clearer than the stark, treeless plateaus of southeastern Anatolia, an
impoverished corner of the nation where trading — and smuggling — have been
a way of life for centuries.

Plopped like muddy boots alongside trade routes once plied by camel trains,
such historic towns such as Cizre, Silopi and Diyarbakir long have thrived
on being gateways between the Balkans and the Middle East.

About $1.5 billion a year in trade rumbled across this remote stretch of the
Iraqi-Turkish border before the outbreak of the Gulf War. Turkey exported
cement, food and industrial goods to all of the Gulf states. And back came
tanker loads of petroleum products.

But when international sanctions against Iraqi leader Saddam began biting in
1990, those glory years ended.

The number of cargo trucks crossing the border has dropped from past highs
near 2,000 a day to about 200 today. Because every truck is owned by at
least four families, the effect on this primarily ethnic Kurdish region has
been devastating. Up to 1.5 million Kurds have been impoverished, the
government says.

"Bush says he wants to take away Saddam's weapons of mass destruction," said
Cumhur Ozpun, 58, a Kurdish trucker waiting last week to cross into Iraq at
Habur gate, Turkey's only legal border crossing. "That's fine. But the
Americans have already used a weapon of mass destruction against us — the

Ozpun complained that a tighter Iraqi border means far fewer trips to
collect oil, thus slashing his family's earnings by two-thirds, to barely
the equivalent of $100 a month. He glumly sipped tea beside his tanker truck
last week, waiting behind hundreds of other idled trucks hoping to make the
crossing into Iraq. He had been waiting four days. Fistfights sometimes
break out among drivers because competition for crossing is so fierce.

Ironically, what trucks do cross the Turkish-Iraqi border these days are
illegal anyway.

Though Iraq is allowed to export oil under U.N.-supervised program that
ensures that most revenues go for food and medicine, experts say Saddam has
been pocketing more than a billion dollars a year by smuggling crude into
Turkey, Jordan and Syria. The shipping of contraband Iraqi diesel into
Turkey has proven particularly lucrative. Western powers have winked at this
blatant sanctions-busting because of the hardships the embargo has wreaked
on the countries' economies.

Yet in impoverished southeast Turkey, where tattooed Kurdish women gather
kindling from brittle winter cotton fields and men prod donkeys along
roadways, even this smuggling bonanza has dried up since the terrorist
attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The government has restricted the diesel trade. Thousands of Kurdish
villagers who sold their homes, fields and animals to buy dilapidated
tankers are now bankrupt. Their rotting vehicles clog hillsides, crowd
gullies and line roads in numbers that stagger belief.

"Five years ago, the line of trucks to the border stretched for 20 miles,"
said Karasi, the young truck owner in Cizre. "Today I would happily exchange
my truck for a few goats."

After years of economic disaster, he is appalled by the prospect of yet
another American war with Iraq. U.S. assurances that the conflict will be
brief and open the region's borders to more trade appear to convince nobody.
The prospect of compensation offered by Washington makes Karasi snort with

"We are poor, we are Kurds, and we can expect no government help," said
Ramazan Kara, 55, who sold his house to buy a now-useless diesel tanker
truck, and who lives today in rustic shanty with eight family members. "We
trust in Allah to open these borders again. We trust in Allah to bring more
traffic to our roads."

The possibility of regime change in Baghdad, however, has also raised hopes
for more normalcy in an area that was largely devastated by the fighting
between Kurdish rebels and the Turkish government.

Many hope a new government in Iraq will lead to a renewal of commerce.

"The border trade with Iraq is the lifeblood of this area," said Yasin Ali,
an accountant. "I hope the war finishes quickly.",3604,899945,00.html

by Helena Smith in Ankara
The Guardian, 21st February

Turkey's de facto leader, Tayyip Erdogan, yesterday lashed out at Europe for
failing to provide it with the necessary political support to confront the
crisis over Iraq.

Mr Erdogan said the EU's refusal to give Ankara a concrete date for
accession talks as a candidate country had backfired because Turkey now had
less clout to stand up to America, its longstanding Nato ally.

In an interview with the Guardian, Mr Erdogan complained that his country
would be far better equipped to deal with the crisis over whether the US
military should be allowed to use Turkish bases if the EU had opened the
door to Turkish accession to the union at the Copenhagen summit last

"The United States is our friend," he said. "But if Turkey had received a
date, if Turkey was strong in its relations with Europe, knew it was a part
of Europe and could act with Europe to eliminate the presence of weapons of
mass destruction, a better road map could be prepared for the rest of the
world regarding a solution to this crisis."

For several weeks Ankara and Washington have been embroiled in what many
diplomats have described as "unseemly haggling" over the amount of money
Turkey will receive in grants and credits for allowing US soldiers to be
deployed there.

This week the US secretary of state, Colin Powell, announced that Washington
was willing to make a "final offer" of $6bn in grants and $20bn in loans -
$6bn short of Turkish demands.

Mr Erdogan, who is expected to be elected prime minister after running in a
by-election next month, said Turkey not only faced immense US pressure to
host thousands of combat troops in the event of conflict but the prospect of
catastrophe for its economy, which has yet to recover from the first Gulf

In a message to Washington, Mr Erdogan said he was utterly opposed to
military action against his neighbour. "We may not approve of the regime in
Iraq but that doesn't mean we see it as our responsibility to remove. Put
simply, we do not want the 21st century to be a century of war."

Mr Erdogan said it was wrong to think that Turkey's infant government was
intent only on bargaining for more financial aid from America in exchange
for help in a possible war. US military planners say opening a northern
front from Turkey is vital to ensure that any invasion of Iraq is swift.

"Our discussions [with the US] are not only economic. They also have
political, military and social dimensions - on a political level we want to
ensure the integrity of Iraq," said Mr Erdogan. "We have to come up with
some strong reasons for our parliament to vote on [stationing US troops]."

The ruling AK party controls 363 of the 550 seats in Ankara's parliament and
unlike any of its predecessors has excellent relations with the Islamic

But Turkey fears that if Iraqi Kurds assume control of the country's rich
oil resources it will not only empower them to proclaim independence but
stir up similar secessionist sentiment among its own predominantly Kurdish
population in the south-east.

Since 1984 30,000 Turks have died in a guerrilla war waged by Kurdish
separatists which some say despite a ceas fire has already been reignited
with all the talk of war.

Fearing the worst, Ankara has deployed an estimated 5,000 troops to northern
Iraq. Post war, Turkey will almost certainly move in to ensure that any
attempt at independence by the Iraqi Kurds is quashed, regional analysts

Anti-war sentiment is not only running high in Turkey but apparently growing
by the day.

"About 95% of the Turkish people are opposed to a war because they still
remember the effects of the first [Gulf] war," said Mr Erdogan.

by Leyla Boulton in Ankara
Financial Times, 21st February
[in Kurdish provinces]

Turkey's powerful armed forces have urged the government to reimpose
emergency rule in the south-east of the country in the event of aUS-led war
against neighbouring Iraq.

Although the proposal has been rejected by the reformist government, it
demonstrates the domestic headaches Turkey could face in a war to topple
Saddam Hussein, Iraqi leader.

The suggestion came as Ankara appeared to soften its stance in negotiations
with Washington over financial rewards for allowing the US to deploy troops
in Turkey for the opening of a second front against Baghdad. Colin Powell,
US secretary of state, said the level of compensation on offer to Turkey was
final but some "creativity" was possible. Ali Babacan, economy minister,
said Turkey wanted written guarantees of the $24bn (€22.5bn, £15bn) package.

In spite of an end-of-week US deadline for Turkey's answer, parliament
yesterday went into recess without voting on the US troop deployment.

General Yasar Buyukyanit, a military leader, proposed reintroducing
emergency rule - with restricted individual rights and increased powers for
the security forces - in six Kurdish dominated provinces near the border
with Iraq.

The request stems from the military's fear that Kurdish separatists, whose
16-year uprising in the south-east was all but crushed by the imprisonment
of their leader, Abdullah Ocalan, would seek to take advantage of a war.

But reimposing emergency rule just months after it was lifted would cause an
outcry in reformist circles at home and within the EU, which has applauded
sweeping rights reforms adopted by the recently elected Justice and
Development party.

Abdullah Gul, prime minister, has vowed that, regardless of any war, the new
government will not be deflected from moves to align Turkey with the EU'S
criteria for starting membership talks. But the military is still
sufficiently influential - and public opinion is so bitter about Kurdish
"terrorists" - that any provocation could be seized on to put pressure on
the government to backtrack.

by Thom Shanker and Eric Schmitt
International Herald Tribune, from The New York Times, 21st February


The missions of significant military units already are being reviewed,
officials said, in particular the 4th Infantry Division, based at Fort Hood,
Texas. Four ships carrying M1 tanks and other heavy equipment for the 4th
Division are waiting in Turkish waters to take their cargo ashore. At least
30 more ships are expected to arrive soon as about 80 percent of the
division's 9,000 vehicles and other equipment has left ports in Texas and
Europe, bound for the Mediterranean.

The cargo armada in the eastern Mediterranean is awaiting a decision to
unload in Turkey or sail through the Suez Canal to Kuwait. Officials said a
decision had to be made within the next three days or so in order for the
4th Division's weapons to be unloaded and readied in time for combat.

If the 4th Division ends up in Kuwait, it probably would be ordered to race
north in a 500 mile (800-kilometer) sprint to take up positions in northern
Iraq, clearly the long way around to its targets. The loss of Turkish
territory as a staging area would greatly hinder the ability to resupply
American forces with ammunition, food and fuel, which travel with greater
efficiency by ground.

Launching a northern offensive from Turkey is important to the overall war
plan for several reasons. American troops would play a critical role in
securing the northern Iraqi oil fields. The forces would also serve to keep
peace between Kurdish factions, and between Kurdish and Turkish troops that
are stationed in northern Iraq.

Attacking from the north would also open a second front aimed at dividing
Iraq's best trained and equipped forces. Advancing American armored troops
would force the two Iraqi Republican Guard divisions in the north to dig in
and fight, or retreat south toward Baghdad and make easy targets for allied

Combined with the main allied ground thrust from Kuwait, the northern
offensive would put President Saddam Hussein's forces in a deadly vise,
military planners said. Without that pressure from the north, Iraqi forces
could focus their ground defenses on the south and west, planners said.

Senior Pentagon officials said Wednesday that they had received no
indications that Turkey would limit an air campaign from its territory.

More than 50 American and British attack planes are now operating out of
Incirlik air base, patrolling the no-flight zone in northern Iraq. In a war
with Iraq, allied bombers and reconnaissance aircraft would probably operate
from several other, smaller bases, including Diyarbakir and Batman. About
500 American military personnel arrived in Turkey on Sunday to carry out
renovation work on Turkish air bases for use in a possible war with Iraq.

Daily Star, Lebanon, 22nd February

Turkey chose the right objective, but the wrong tactics to go about
achieving it. This error was enough to lose Ankara the credibility it had
gained through Prime Minister Abdullah Gul's recent Middle East tour. The
logic of peace that prevailed over the logic of war during the latest
session of Turkey's National Security Council (held on Feb. 14) - a logic
which was further underlined by the mass demonstrations for peace held
around the globe on Feb. 15 - was a straight contradiction, both in
interests and indeed in essence, with the Turkish position vis-a-vis the
issue of Iraq.

It was a given that the current situation in Iraq serves Turkey's interests.
Over the last 10 years, Ankara has succeeded in establishing a delicate
balance in its favor both with Baghdad and with the Kurdish enclave in
northern Iraq. The Turkish economy, which suffered major losses from the
1991 Gulf War, has since built fruitful relationships with Iraq - both with
Baghdad and through the lucrative cross-border smuggling of fuel and

The current situation, moreover, curtails any attempt by the Iraqi Kurds of
northern Iraq to seek a more solid legal framework for independence, such as
the federal system advocated by the recent London meeting of the Iraqi

The status quo also guarantees Turkey a special status that no other country
- including the United States - enjoys in Iraq. The Turkish Army has been
present on the ground in northern Iraq for years, acting as a deterrent to
any Kurdish faction that might someday even contemplate declaring
independence. Turkey has therefore always been wary of the consequences of
an American-led war on Iraq; this was why Turkey initially opposed the
imminent war.

Yet Ankara, which is involved in a number of quarrels with the West (over
Cyprus, Greece, Armenia, and accession to the European Union), and which
sorely needs IMF loans, can only turn to America for help. The Turks know
that at the end of the day their fate is in the hands of the Americans. If
the US is determined to wage war on Iraq, then Turkey can do little else but
follow along.

That's why Turkey said it was opposed to the war in principle, but that once
war became inevitable, it wouldn't remain on the sidelines. The Turks
pursued a step-by-step approach with some success initially, but they saw
their tactics collapse.

Responsibility for this debacle cannot be laid solely at the door of
Turkey's Islamist government, since there was total coordination in
decision-making between the Cabinet and the army through the National
Security Council. While it was calling for peace, Turkey was preparing
itself for war in total agreement with the US. The aim was that should war
break out, a number of factors would favor American policies. Among those

1. Turkey exerted intense pressure on the recent Istanbul meeting of six
Middle Eastern foreign ministers to declare Iraq solely responsible for the
current crisis. Washington was absolved of any responsibility.

2. Turkey maintained the pressure on Iraq by calling on Saddam Hussein to
step down and offering him a safe haven.

3. Ankara agreed to an American request to inspect Turkish military

4. The Turkish Parliament agreed to allow US military experts to upgrade
Turkish bases and ports for possible use by American troops.

While Ankara publicly linked its decision to take part in a war against its
neighbor to a second UN Security Council resolution, it was in fact acting
in a manner completely at odds with its public stance.

Ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan
suddenly announced that Turkey could not remain "outside the equation."
Turkey's national interests, Erdogan said, necessitated its taking part in
the war so that it could be in a position to influence events later.

Gul, echoing Erdogan, stressed that Turkey must cooperate fully with "our
friend, strategic ally, and NATO partner," the United States. In fact, Gul
sprang a major surprise by declaring that the UN is not the only source of
legitimacy, since the international body is not a court of law, but a
political organization. Gul added that a joint decision by a large number of
countries would enjoy legitimacy as well. This position allows Turkey to
take part in a US-led war on Iraq without UN sanction.

Ankara presented more proof - if proof was needed - that it was a tool for
US policy by asking NATO for protection against possible Iraqi attack. The
request - as was widely recognized - was an attempt by Washington to involve
NATO in a war that "Old Europe" was not interested in. That's why Germany,
France and Belgium felt they had to explain to Ankara that their opposition
to its request for protection was not directed at Turkey but at the logic of
war Washington was trying to impose on NATO.

Just when the logic of peace seemed to prevail, and at almost the same time
when the Turkish National Security Council was meeting, President George W.
Bush received Turkish Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis at the White House in a
clear sign that Ankara stood at America's side.

Even before Hans Blix and Mohammed al-Baradei submitted their second report
on Feb. 14, Gul declared that the Turkish Parliament would convene on Feb.
18 to decide on opening the country's bases to thousands of US troops. He
later said the parliamentary vote would be postponed pending agreement on
the size of a multi-billion American aid package to cushion Turkey's economy
from the impact of a war. This is another indication that Turkey is prepared
to act outside the UN.

In the midst of all this confusion, one is justified in asking the
following: If Ankara was really sincere in pursuing peace to the end, why
did it not join the European peace camp led by France, Germany and Belgium?

At the 11th hour of the first round of the struggle for Iraq, Ankara proved
its loyalty to Washington. This will most likely have negative ramifications
on its regional credibility as well as on its relationship with the EU.

Beirut-based Mohammad Noureddine, an analyst on Turkish affairs, wrote this
commentary for The Daily Star

by Jean-Christophe Peuch
Asia Times, 22nd February


On February 18, Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said that any
large-scale US military buildup within Turkey's borders is conditional on
passage of a second UN Security Council resolution authorizing the use of
force against Iraq.


Most defense experts believe the inability to stage a major invasion from
Turkey would strike a serious blow to the Pentagon's war plans, even though
the US may still be able to achieve its war objectives. US Defense Secretary
Donald Rumsfeld says that there are ways to compensate if Turkey decides not
to cooperate.

British analyst Mitchell agreed, saying that losing Turkey would not prove
fatal to US war plans against Iraq. "I am sure [the Americans] can go ahead
without an attack from the north. That just means that the southern
offensive would take priority. I am sure they have already factored in this
possibility and this option. How they would attack Iraq on a one front
basis, I have no idea. But I am sure it can be done and will be done,"
Mitchell said.

Flournoy said that, in the event of what she described as the "unlikely"
scenario that Turkey will deny US troops access to its territory, Washington
might turn to other countries for assistance. "I think there are certainly
other options for aircraft and air forces. They would be staged from other
bases in Europe, and they would simply have to travel longer distances to
conduct their missions. I think for ground forces, what we would see is a
shift in focus toward other countries that border on Iraq and much greater
pressure put on them to accept additional ground forces so that that second
front could be created," Flournoy said.

Flournoy said that Saudi Arabia and Jordan are among the countries the US
could ask to allow large numbers of its troops to operate on their soil.
Saudi Arabia served as a launchpad for US-led coalition forces against Iraq
in 1991, but it has still not made clear whether it would authorize the use
of its bases in any new war. Like Turkey, the Saudi kingdom already hosts US
and British aircraft tasked with implementing the no-fly zones imposed on
Iraq after the Gulf War.

Although Jordan did not participate in the previous conflict, Washington has
been considering using Iraq's southwestern neighbor as a possible
springboard. Despite Amman's denials to the contrary, some 1,500 US special
operations troops have reportedly been stationed in Jordan since October.

Anthony Cordesman, a former senior official at the US State and Defense
departments, is one of the US's top military analysts. Cordesman, in an
interview with RFE/RL, said, "We really have no access to the [Persian] Gulf
except through Kuwait. It would put all of our advance on one line of
advance; it would greatly complicate the logistic problems; it would
complicate the supply problems and make our line of advance far more
predictable. There would be the difficulty that Iraq would be able to
predict the lines of advance and that it would be relatively secure in the

That means that Iraq could concentrate on defending its south and west,
where US troops may attack from Jordan, a task Cordesman said would greatly
simplify Iraq's defense and complicate US efforts to achieve a swift
victory. "And it certainly would create potential problems in the course of
the war, because the United States would not be moving through the Kurdish
areas, not be securing the north, and this creates a higher risk of Kurdish
separatism and a different kind of Turkish intervention," Cordesman said.

Reports say that, should Turkey eventually deny its territory for use in a
ground offensive, the Pentagon might still consider attacking Iraq from the
north with airborne troops in a scenario that would involve substantially
fewer troops.

Kamran al-Karadaghi is deputy director of Radio Free Iraq. He said that
existing infrastructure in Iraq's Kurdish-led areas is suitable for a
possible airlift option, although such airfields would not be appropriate
for a large-scale offensive. "If you're talking about special-forces
operations, then it is possible, because in Kurdistan there are a few small
[airfields], and the Americans have been working on them for months now to
prepare them for possible use. So I think there is a possibility, really,
for this kind of operation. But for a [large]-scale operation, I think it
would be difficult without having [ground] troops [entering] from Turkey,"
al-Karadaghi said.

Analyst Mitchell, himself a retired British army officer, agreed that an
airlift operation would have to be limited in scope. Should Ankara decide
against the use of its territory by US tanks and infantry, he said an
airborne invasion from the north is unlikely, even though any US war plan
probably envisages airlifting some troops into Iraqi Kurdistan. "That was
going to go ahead anyway and that will probably still go ahead. But the
problem is that once airborne troops are here, once [they] are landed, they
can only stay on the ground for a limited period of time before other
advancing troops have to meet up with them. They can only sustain themselves
on the ground for a limited period of time before they would require
assistance. So that would be a very difficult option," Mitchell said.

Officials in the US capital claim that Turkey is bound to open its territory
to US troops for fear of damaging relations. Convinced that it is a key
element in US war plans, Turkey in turn is trying to obtain as much economic
compensation and security guarantees as it can from Washington.

Both sides are "bluffing", in Mitchell's view: "With the Turks holding out
for as much money as they can possibly get, and the US saying, 'If you don't
allow us in, you stand to lose far more in terms of economic assistance and
credits', it is a huge game of poker, isn't it?",,482-586509,00.html

by Norman Stone
The Times, 22nd February

There is a persistent air of slow-motion surrealism as Turks contemplate
what is about to happen in Iraq. On television news, American convoys
trundle east and men in orange suits are preparing the population for
chemical warfare — Ankara is, after all, within range of missiles fired from
Iraq. These preparations mingle strangely with the snow clearing and the
blizzard reports; the war crisis is somehow muffled. There are endless
discussion programmes, as prominent journalists and well-informed retired
generals discuss it, but it is all very slow-motion.

For the past week the newspapers have been full of comment about what the
Americans should pay, and there has been some unseemly haggling: Americans
banging on the table, Turks prevaricating. There is always a possibility
that Turkey might take the oil-rich areas of Mosul and Kirkuk. These — the
population there is Turkoman, once nomadic cousins of the Turks — were
claimed by republican Turkey in 1923, and only a decision by international
courts, rigged by the British, prevented the claim from being realised (even
now the wilder sort of Turkish politician says that the British must not get
in on that area again). In default, then money — the latest figure
approaching $30 billion.

The Turks' demand for compensation is, in fact, fair enough. Their tourism
may entirely disappear and the auguries otherwise are not good. In 1991, at
the time of the first Gulf War, the then chief figure in Turkish politics,
the hugely influential Turgut Ozal, did more or less whatever the US wanted.
It was not a great success, because the problem of Iraq was not solved at
all. Instead, Turkey had an inflow of Kurdish refugees that she could barely
handle, and cross-border trade declined so far as to impoverish large areas
of the Anatolian east. The Black Sea port of Trabzon used to do well out of
trade with the northern Middle East. It, and the Black Sea coast generally,
now has the second lowest GDP per capita in the country.

Turks put a figure of $30 billion on their losses since 1991, but the
political losses have also been severe. South-eastern Turkey, on the Iraqi
border, has a largely Kurdish population, often sunk in traditional tribal
ways, with polygamy and a vast demographic problem. Uncertainties on the
border have put a stop to organised trade. Worse, they have encouraged
smuggling, not least of drugs and people, with the effects that Britain has
seen at Sangatte.

Almost no Turk wants a war: the attitude is much the same as that of the
Italian who said in 1942: "If England wins, we lose; if Germany wins, we are
lost." Saddam does at least contain problems that Turks would rather not
face, and in any case the alternatives may not be any better.

Then there is the Kurdish problem. The Americans want to establish a
"Kurdish entity". But the Kurds of northern Iraq have cousins over the
Turkish border, and since Ottoman times the whole region has been very
difficult to control. It is not, Turks say, as if one could
straightforwardly talk of "Kurdistan", whatever the Americans believe. The
Kurds are divided along tribal lines and there are other deep divisions, of
religion, in that many are not Sunni at all, but Turkish-Alevi, so heretical
as almost not to count as Muslims.

There is also no single Kurdish language. Abroad, efforts are being made to
standardise "Kurdish", but on the ground they make no sense because there
are at least seven strikingly different variants. In Iraq an Arabic alphabet
is used, in Turkey a Latin one. It is sometimes claimed that Turkey bans
Kurdish publications, but this has not been true for years. In fact, people
do not buy them. The PKK, the communist guerrilla movement with which Turkey
has had to contend all these years, itself used Turkish and announced that
Turkish would be the official language of "Kurdistan".

If Iraq breaks up, will Turkey then face some sort of Kurdish entity —
either dirt-poor, in the manner of Somalia, or, if it gets Kirkuk and Mosul,
oil rich and able to threaten all its neighbours as Saddam did? Not an easy
question for the Turks, who tend to say that the best thing for Kurds is to
do as so many millions have done and migrate to central and western
Anatolia, there to intermarry and assimilate.

However, Turkey is not used to saying "no" to the Americans. In principle,
Turks know that they owe a great deal to the US, and there is even excessive
imitation of its ways (in the private universities, set up on American
models, the imitation is often very successful, but perhaps we can draw the
line at "the feminist theory of international relations"). After the
country's first democratic election, more than 50 years ago, a government
respectful of religion came to office. Its leader took Turkey into the
Korean War and Nato, exclaiming that whatever America does is right by us.

A landslide brought a government of similar attitudes to office a few months
ago. It has been a godsend for the US, which is only too glad to see a
democratic Muslim state, helpful to it in its dealings with the difficult
Europeans. High-level Americans have been back and forth to Ankara again and
again, asking it in effect to repeat Turkey's behaviour over Korea. At that
time, after all, Turkey put herself again on the world map. This earned her
a great deal of support, in US aid and in membership of international bodies
such as the OECD that were reserved to the respectable.

Why, say the Americans, not do a Korea over Iraq? But Korea was not next
door, and it did not open up various exceedingly difficult historical
questions that the westernising Turks would be very glad indeed to forget.
It is a time of slow-motion apprehension, and, whatever happens, the answers
for Turkey are neither simple nor welcome.

The author is Professor of International Relations at Bilkent University,

by Peter N. Marudas
Baltimore Sun, 23rd February

IN HIS DETERMINATION to create a "coalition of the willing" against Iraq,
President Bush has encountered both opposition and lack of enthusiasm from
traditional allies and millions of their citizens. Aside from strident
French and German opposition, perhaps the most difficult and unexpected
experience for the Bush administration has been in dealing with Turkey, a
key NATO ally and a secular Moslem country bordering on Iraq.

Turkey and the United States are likely to reach an agreement soon on the
stationing of U.S. troops in Turkey for a war against Iraq. But the
administration has no one to blame but itself for the high cost and
difficulty in getting there..

For months, Washington confidently asserted that after preliminary military
and economic bargaining Turkey would accommodate U.S. forces. This
perception held that in the end Turkey would not want to disappoint its
powerful friend or lose out on a lavish American aid package. But closure
has been elusive.

The Bush administration, clearly frustrated by the Turkish government's
continuing reluctance to accept more American troops, was presented last
week with a demand for $32 billion in economic aid as the price for

Washington, with troop ships bound for Turkish ports, was offering $26
billion. This public bartering looked more like bargaining in a Middle
Eastern bazaar than negotiations between two allies.

At a White House meeting Feb. 14 with the Turkish foreign and finance
ministers, Bush could not break the deadlock. Turkey's foreign minister said
Friday that a "broad agreement" had been reached and that remaining
disagreements would likely be resolved.

What's caused this eleventh-hour crisis? A combination of old and new

First the old: One is the traditional Turkish fear that a new Iraq conflict
will enhance Kurdish demands for an independent state; another is a Gulf war
replay of refugees streaming into Turkey from battlefield areas and a severe
impact on Turkey's an already extremely shaky economy. Despite American
assurances that these concerns will be effectively addressed, the Turks
remain apprehensive.

Now for the new: First is the far-reaching political change in Turkey
reflected in the Justice and Development Party's sweeping victory in
November's parliamentary elections. Led by Recep Erdogan, the charismatic
former mayor of Istanbul, this Islamic-based party won an outright
parliamentary majority on a platform of political and economic reform, even
though Erdogan was legally barred from running for office.

The party's overwhelming victory stunned Turkey's ruling military-political
establishment and caught American policy-makers off balance. For the first
time in decades, the United States faced a Turkish government with few ties
to previously dominant pro-American military and political elites.
Washington's failure to anticipate and adjust to this new political reality
has complicated relations with Turkey.

In fact, when this Turkish establishment shamelessly persecuted Erdogan by
banishing him from public life and throwing him in jail on dubious sedition
charges, no public protest was heard from Washington. Erdogan was prohibited
from running in the November elections, or from holding office. This was
corrected after his party won, and he is expected to win a special
parliamentary election next month and shortly thereafter become prime

Unlike their predecessors, Erdogan and his ruling party pay attention to
public opinion. In the current circumstances, this is a major headache for
American planners. Every recent poll reports that 85 percent to 95 percent
of Turkish citizens oppose their country's involvement in a war against
Iraq. The new government's leaders repeatedly emphasize that their
ambivalence toward America's Iraq policy is a response to widespread public

Discounting these pronouncements, American officials continued to assume
prompt Turkish permission for troop deployments. When Turkey hedged in its
commitments, they complained that the new leadership failed to prepare
public opinion for a tough decision on Iraq.

The Bush administration's reactions after the Turkish elections are
particularly instructive. Desperate to recruit Turkey for an Iraq war, the
administration committed serious missteps in Europe, ignored other important
problems facing Ankara and started down a path leading to the current
embarrassing impasse over money.

When the new Justice and Development government was installed in November,
it faced four critical problems: restoring a weakened economy; obtaining a
commitment for membership in the European Union; responding to a United
Nations initiative on Cyprus and reacting to U.S. pressure on Iraq.

With Iraq in mind, the administration tried to impress Turkey by dispatching
Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, its leading intellectual hawk,
to Europe and Ankara in early December. In an unusually intrusive action,
Wolfowitz urged the European Union to set a date for negotiations on
Turkey's future membership and also to encourage a Cyprus settlement.

In parallel actions, President Bush called French President Jacques Chirac
and Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, then president of the EU,
to push Turkey's case while Secretary of State Colin L. Powell telephoned
his Danish counterpart. Powell also sent a confidential letter to Chris
Patten, EU's external affairs commissioner, asking that the union be
flexible in applying membership criteria to Turkey. Most observers
interpreted the Powell letter as asking the union to play down Turkey's
dismal record on human rights - an important EU criterion.

This intense lobbying by the Bush administration backfired, according to
American and European press reports. Rather than help the Turkish cause, it
created resentment among the Europeans, who 10 days later rejected Turkey's

After his performance at the EU, Wolfowitz flew to Ankara expecting to
obtain concrete military commitments on Iraq from a grateful Turkey. The
visit produced few results.

Sensing Turkey needed top-level courting, a White House invitation was
extended to Erdogan. But the meeting between Bush and Erdogan seemed to
produce only vague commitments from the Turks. Since then, America has
received limited military cooperation. The process can best be described as
one of perceived agreement, delay and postponement.

The Bush administration continues to view Turkey only through the prism of
military cooperation against Saddam Hussein. Despite rhetorical
window-dressing about Turkey's role as a democratic Muslim role model, it
still sees Turkey primarily as valuable military real estate, a policy
pursued by virtually all recent American administrations. Consequently,
America has encouraged Turkey's military to spend lavishly while the
civilian economy suffers. We have consistently overlooked extensive human
rights violations to sustain the strategic relationship.

It is a tribute to Turkish democracy that despite the forces of reaction and
inertia, the Turkish people have voted decisively for genuine political and
economic reform. If American policy remains mired in the past and fails to
align with this new reality, any temporary cooperation over Iraq could be of
little ultimate consequence.

Peter N. Marudas, a former reporter for The Evening Sun, served as chief of
staff for Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes.

Jordan Times, 24th February
ANKARA (AFP) — As Turkey dithers over the final conditions of an emerging
deal to let US forces invade Iraq from its territory, Washington has made it
clear that its patience is wearing thin.

But the pressure tactics have revived bad memories of the last war in the
Gulf, and could prove counterproductive.

"The United States kept none of the promises they made in 1991," said Recep
Tayyip Erdogan, leader of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party
(AKP), in an interview with NTV television on Friday night.

Erdogan's comments were a succinct summary of Ankara's official view of the
Gulf War, when former President Turgut Ozal gave comprehensive support to
the US-led attack on Iraq and its forces occupying Kuwait.

Ozal had calculated — wrongly, as it rapidly became clear — that his
wholehearted backing for the US-led war effort would pay handsome dividends
for Turkey.

"We're going to gamble one and win three," he told a sceptical public, in
words that have since been the subject of satire.

In fact, Turkey was promptly crippled by United Nations sanctions against
its oil-rich neighbour that virtually ended bilateral trade. Its economic
development plans were reduced to 'colateral damage' in the economic war to
disarm Iraq — now in its 13th year.

Hours after the sanctions were formally adopted, Ankara ordered the closure
of the two major oil pipelines that transported almost half of Iraq's
whopping preembargo crude production to the Turkish Mediterranean port of

Weeks before the Gulf war began, armed forces chief Necip Torumtay and
Foreign Minister Ali Bozer had both resigned in protest at their president's
unbridled support for the US-led war.

Ozal was subsequently forced to withdraw plans to send Turkish troops into
Iraq and Kuwait alongside US forces, amid unrelenting criticism from the
military and opposition groups.

Nonetheless, Turkey played a vital role in the allied assault, its southern
Incirlik air base serving as a major staging post both for supply logistics
and bombing operations.

Former US president George Bush — George W's father — received Ozal at the
White House, hailing the "courage" of his stand against Iraq and promising
big increases in military aid.

Ozal died in 1993. But Turkish authorities today estimate they are still
owed more than $40 billion (37 billion euros) in economic aid promised to
their former president by Washington — part of it in compensation for the UN
sanctions against Iraq.

Turkey's cabinet will meet Monday to ask parliament to permit US forces to
use Turkish soil in an event of another war on Iraq, Prime Minister Abdullah
Gul said Saturday.

by Dexter Filkins
International Herald Tribune, from New York Times, 24th February


In the interview Sunday, on CNN Turk, Yakis indicated that he wanted to
ensure that the oil fields around Mosel and Kirkuk in northern Iraq did not
fall into the hands of Kurdish fighters. Turkish officials fear that Kurdish
possession of the oil fields would give the Kurds the economic power to form
their own state.

In the interview, Yakis indicated that the Turks preferred to have American
forces take the oil fields.

"The formulation we are nearing agreement on is that those areas will be
under U.S. control," Yakis said.

Yakis said negotiators were also discussing the possibility of disarming
Kurdish militias after a war. The main Kurdish groups already have thousands
of armed men under their leadership. Yakis has expressed concern about any
weapons, presumably artillery, that the Americans would give to the groups
in preparation for a war.

In an interview last week, Yakis suggested that the Turkish government would
not allow the Kurds to hold on to their guns. "If those weapons given to the
Kurds would be pointed against us, this is something we cannot accept,"
Yakis said in an interview Friday. "This is why we insist that these weapons
should be accounted accurately as to whom they are given, when the time
comes to collect them."

"We should also prevent these arms reach undesired hands."

A senior Kurdish official said this weekend that his forces would resist any
Turkish attempt to disarm them. The official, Barham Salih, prime minister
of the eastern Kurdish zone, which is controlled by the Patriotic Union of
Kurdistan, said the Kurds would not surrender their weapons until a
democratic government was established in Baghdad.

"Turkey has no business getting militarily involved in northern Iraq,"
Barham said. "Turkey's intervention would invoke latent historical
sensitivities, and invite other neighbors to intervene." "This is a
Pandora's box," he said. "It is better left alone." The Anatolia news agency
reported that Turkish and American officials agreed Sunday to jointly
oversee the armament and disarmament of the Iraqi Kurds. That report could
not be confirmed.

On his interview Friday, Yakis also suggested that Turkish soldiers could be
sent to protect the Turkoman ethnic minority in northern Iraq. American and
Kurdish officials worry that such a Turkish role could send their troops
deep into northern Iraq.

"The Turkomans don't need to be armed for protection," Yakis said. "Instead,
soldiers could be located in their areas. All we want is stability in the
region. We won't be going into northern Iraq to fight either people living
in this region or the Iraqis."

"Turkey will be there militarily only to prevent any kind of development
that would harm stability," he said.

by Dexter Filkins
New York Times, 25th February

ISTANBUL, Feb. 24 (AP): The Turkish government endorsed a proposal today to
allow thousands of American troops into the country for a possible attack on
Iraq. It did so even before the two countries had worked out the final
details of the agreement, a senior Turkish official said.

An endorsement by the Turkish cabinet would ordinarily clear the way for the
measure to be taken up by the Parliament. But a Turkish official said the
cabinet took up and approved the incomplete agreement under pressure from

Turkish officials said they were divided over whether the Parliament should
vote on the plan before all the details had been worked out. Some Turkish
officials want the Parliament to vote on the plan as early as Tuesday. But
even if the measure should pass there, Turkish officials say they might
delay the arrival of American troops until a final agreement is reached.

The debate today in the Turkish cabinet, which went on for six hours,
revealed deep divisions over the wisdom of signing on to a possible military
campaign against Iraq.

"An important section of the cabinet was not satisfied by the developments,
but at the end of the discussions it was decided to send the resolution to
Parliament," the cabinet spokesman, Abdullatif Sener, told reporters. "We
hope that when Parliament puts the proposal on its agenda for debate, the
agreement with the U.S. will have been completed."

Turkish officials and American diplomats have been trying for weeks to forge
a plan that would allow tens of thousands of American troops to use Turkey
as a base to attack Iraq, while at the same time cushion the Turkish economy
from any potential shocks that a war might bring. At the same time, the
agreement envisions the intervention of thousands of Turkish troops into
northern Iraq.

Senior Turkish officials have made no secret of their distaste for America's
plans for Iraq. Public opinion polls show that most Turks oppose their
country's involvement. But many Turkish officials have said privately that
Turkey is too dependent on Washington, particularly given its clout in
international financial institutions, to reject its entreaties. Instead,
they have focused their diplomatic strategies on extracting the largest
financial commitment they can. Senior American officials said recently that
Turkey had agreed to a plan that would provide up to $15 billion in grants
and loans.

One senior Turkish official said after the cabinet meeting that there was
still widespread opposition to the plan. "The government was not satisfied
with the agreement, but due to pressure, pressure from the United States, it
decided to forward it to Parliament," said the Turkish official. "Right now,
if it went to Parliament, it would be rejected."

There were other indications today of resistance to the prospect of American
troops using Turkey as a base against Iraq. Bulent Arinc, the speaker of the
Parliament, said he preferred waiting for a second United Nations

"It would be wrong for the government to send a request to Parliament when
the conditions for international legitimacy have not been met," Mr. Arinc

American officials have said repeatedly that if Turkey's leaders do not
approve their request soon, they would have to divert the ships now heading
for their ports.

About a dozen American military cargo ships are holding in the eastern
Mediterranean. A string of more than two dozen other ships, carrying
equipment for the Fourth and 101st Airborne Divisions, now runs from the
Mediterranean across the Atlantic to ports in Texas and Florida.

Altogether, the United States is preparing to unload about 9,000 vehicles
and later fly in about 40,000 troops for its northern front.

Turkish officials have agreed to allow about six American ships to unload in
Iskenderun, the easternmost Turkish port in the Mediterranean. Those ships
are carrying construction equipment and gear to help unload ship cargo.

But the military equipment is staying put. "We're not moving anything until
the Parliament acts," one military official said.

Late tonight, few people, even in Turkey's ruling party, seemed to know when
that would be. But few also doubted it would pass.

"There may be a few dissenters," said Haluk Ipek, a member of Parliament. "I
trust my government, members of the cabinet. We all should. I would vote for
whatever method or precaution is necessary to maintain our security."

Even if the Turkish Parliament approves the agreement, the delays have
already complicated the flow of equipment into Turkey.

"The choke point will be at the port," one military official said.

Since the Persian Gulf war in 1991, the Navy's Military Sealift Command
fleet has acquired far more ships that are configured to allow vehicles to
drive on and drive off them, shortening the time needed to unload cargo in
ports. Still, on the receiving end, ports need adequate loading space,
equipment and stevedores.

Separately, Gen. Tommy R. Franks, the commander of American forces in the
Persian Gulf, arrived in London today for meetings with senior British
military officials and a meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair.

by Louis Meixler
Las Vegas Sun, 25th February


The deputy chairman of the governing party, Reha Denemec, said a vote would
not take place before Wednesday at the earliest.


Marisa Lino, a top State Department official for military affairs, held
talks with Turkish officials until 7 a.m. local time Tuesday, while U.S.
ambassador to Turkey, Robert Pearson, left the foreign ministry at 2 a.m.


Party leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan praised Monday's Cabinet decision, saying
it was in "the best interest of the nation."

Although Erdogan said he would not order his party's legislators how to
vote, he hinted that he believed the legislators would be persuaded to vote
in favor.

"I believe you will make the final decision and take your steps without the
need for a group decision," Erdogan said in an address to party deputies.

But Prime Minister Abdullah Gul had trouble convincing his own Cabinet
members Monday. Government spokesman Abdullatif Sener said that many
ministers had reservations, but "in the end, the ministers unanimously
endorsed to send it to parliament."

Deputy Prime Minister Ertugrul Yalcinbayir said there would be benefits if
the authorization was not approved.

"If it is not approved democracy would be strengthened," Yalcinbayir said
without elaborating.

The bill also would authorize Turkish troops to enter northern Iraq in case
of war - a plan that is raising tensions with Iraqi Kurds who control an
autonomous zone in the north of the country.

Turkey fears that Iraq could fragment if there is a war, with Kurds
declaring an independent state. That, Turks fears, could encourage Turkey's
Kurdish minority.

by Leyla Boulton in Ankara
Financial Times, 25th February

Mustafa Ziya taught earth-quake engineering at Baghdad University before
taking on the more delicate task of representing Iraq's Turkoman community
in Turkey.

Mr Ziya, 45, fled the northern city of Kirkuk in Iraq's Kurdish area during
the 1991 Gulf war. Earlier this month he attended a meeting alongside Iraq's
two main Kurdish opposition groups to discuss the future of Iraq with US and
Turkish officials.

The position of the Turkoman minority, related ethnically and linguistically
to the people of Turkey, could play a significant political role in the
future of Iraq if or when the regime of Saddam Hussein is ousted. An accord
about to be finalised between Turkey and the US stipulates that Turkomans
will be represented in a new Iraqi government.

Such assurances are among Turkey's conditions for allowing US troops to open
a second front through its border with northern Iraq. Ankara's support for
the Turkomans, however, stems from more than empathy with ethnic brethren:
the Turkomans could provide a very good reason for Turkey to seek to
exercise influence in the Kurdish areas ina post-Hussein Iraq.

"The Americans said they would be in Baghdad and Iraq, controlling
everything, for two or three years," said Mr Ziya, whose Turkoman Front is
based in northern Iraq, outside Baghdad's control. "There would be a census
[of the different ethnic groups in Iraq] and then a draft constitution. If
the constitution were accepted through a referendum, they would go to
election to establish a parliament."

The census would be aimed at determining the relative weight of groups
jockeying for influence in a post-Hussein Iraq. The Turkomans' political
weight probably outweighs their actual numerical strength.

Even Mr Ziya concedes that his own estimate of 2.5m for the number of
Turkomans living in Iraq can only be a guess.

The US is also promising to control the oilfields around the cities of
Kirkuk and Mosul, just south of the no-fly zone policed by US and British

"If Kirkuk is under the control of any other [Iraqi] group, Turkomans in
that city may be killed, forced to migrate or their rights will be
neglected," said Mr Ziya. "Turkish fears are about petroleum in that city,
that if it falls into the hands of the Kurds it will be a reason to declare
their own state. But our concern is about our people."

Turkey's plan to increase its existing troop presence in northern Iraq draws
a mixed response from the Turkomans. Ankara says its main aim is to prevent
an influx of refugees into Turkey. But it is also keen to discourage any
Kurdish ambitions of creating an independent state, while keeping in check
rebel Turkish Kurds holed up in northern Iraq.

The Kurdistan Democratic party, which since 1996 has controlled the part of
northern Iraq populated by Turkomans, has warned that fighting could break
out with Turkish troops.

The Turkoman National Association, a rival umbrella group, said at the
weekend that it saw no need for Turkish protection. The Turkoman Front's
leadership retorted it had no objections.

But even Mr Ziya, speaking late last week before it was clear that the
Americans and Turks would reach agreement on the opening of a second front
against Baghdad, admitted that it would be "chaos" if the Turks were to go
into northern Iraq alone, without the US.

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]