From: m.serhat ozyar <email@example.com>
Subject: The Northern Iraq Operation of Turkey
Turkish public opinion is in the dark with regard to the operation in northern Iraq since the government has not clearly expressed its objective. Officials constantly repeat that the operation is aiming at something more than wiping out the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) but they just will not to say what. Furthermore, two wings of the Turkish state are each trying to force the operation to fit their own guidelines.
This operation carries the signatures of the Demirel--Chief of Staff--Foreign Affairs trio. Although at the present time Prime Minister Ciller holds nothing more than a spokesman role, she is nevertheless trying to turn the operation to the advantage of the United States --she is an American citizen-- binding it with Washington's Kurdish scenario.
We are able to distinguish the operation's real objective through armed forces and foreign service statements: Turkey wants the indeterminate situation in northern Iraq to be clarified and wants to rest assured that the Kurdish issue will be solved within the territorial unity of Iraq.
Into what domain have the Turkish Armed Forces ventured with this operation? First, in the eyes of international law these lands are still under Iraqi sovereignty. Secondly, the population is Kurdish. thirdly, for the time being, northern Iraq remains under United States supervision; the United States, by deploying Poised Hammer on the 36th parallel and forbidding entry above that point, has practically occupied the area. Iraq welcomes this Turkish operation in a positive manner. Barzani, the representative of Kurds living in that region, is collaborating with Turkey. Only the United States remains. The Turkish Armed Forces have entered the lands which are under U.S. supervision. The operation would have been alright if it were being held "in the name" of the United States. However, operation is in spite of the USA. This is the critical aspect of the operation.
From the U.S. perspective, this operation tends to discredit the U.S. Kurdish scenario. It is a known fact that, since before the Gulf War, the United States wanted Turkey to recognize and support the establishment of a Kurdish state in northern Iraq. Even Turkey's solution to its own PKK problem was being conditioned to this. The Ciller--Gures duo gave in to this U.S. scenario. On the other hand, groups in the government close to the traditional state motto "peace at home, peace in the world" feared the implications of operating as a subcontractor for the United States.
If Turkey takes on the role of the United States' battering ram in the Middle East, she would have to take the same role in the Balkans and the Turkic Republics. When the Chief of the General Staff at the time, Dogan Gures, spoke of the Turkish Armed Forces' "interventions in regional crises", he was clearly stating the a policy insisted on by the United States. Now, according to sources close to the United States rulers, Turkey has stepped out of line since the fall of 1994. For them the "Turkish--U.S. honeymoon" was over when Turkey not only stopped giving into U.S. demands with regard to areas in crisis but also started searching for solutions on her own. This quest was evaluated by sources close to the CIA in the terms "Turkey has gone too far" (Mediterranean Quarterly, Winter, 1995). The northern Iraq operation is Turkey's latest action "outside U.S. guidelines. The optimum conditions for this action are being evaluated. In any case the Turkish government has no other choice. The option proposed by the Americans would bring Turkey into confrontation with her neighbors, leading to never-ending adventures. None other than a fascist pro-American militarist regime could handle such a state of being.
Obviously the United States is not content with this Turkish excursion dash. As a matter of fact, just before the operation, assistant Secretary of State Holbrooke had warned Turkey to "beware of internal disorder" in case the operation went further. This warning hid a threat. Sources close to the CIA have been writing for some time that if Turkey stepped away from the U.S. line she would stumble into and be divided by Alawite--Sunni and Turk--Kurd confrontations (Graham Fuller, Foreign Affairs, Spring, 1993 and the Mediterranian Quarterly, Winter, 1995).
The Gaziosmanpasa provocation is more easily understood after the Iraq operation. It is clear that the state would not be busy stirring up a Sunni-- Alawite war a week before launching a major military operation. On the other hand, this provocateur role perfectly fits the "big ally" who wants to make the operation stumble. As seen in Gaziosmanpasa events, the United States has not simply voiced its threat, it also put it into action.
The United States is still trying to stop the Iraq operation from achieving its goal. Washington is worried that the collaboration between Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Barzani has the strength to undo the U.S. scenario. The Kurdish problem could be solved within Iraq, causing the U.S. "Kurdish state under Turkey's supervision" plan to go down the drain. How was Barzani's agreement with Bagdad after the Gulf War prevented other than by a series of provocations. Today, after a major economic breakdown and a Kurd against Kurd war, Barzani is searching for ways to settle agreements with Iraq. Iraq, for its part keeps providing guarantees in relation to Kurd rights to which Iran shows no opposition just to cut down any kind of U.S. initiative. This is how Turkey has found a scene of operations for herself away from U.S. influence: by gathering strength from Iran and Iraq, by benefiting from the mounting coldness of the Arab world towards the United States and by bearing in mind that Europe would not be unhappy with a diminution of U.S. power in the region.
There seem to be two options with regard to northern Iraq. The first one is the establishment of a "Kurdish state" under Turkey's "protection" and supervised by the United States. The second is the cooperation among countries in the region and Kurdish organizations to refuse the U.S. initiative and find a solution together.
Those who defend the U.S. option shout out "Turkish soldiers go home" while the organized initiative of countries in the region shows its head with the Turkish military operation. This operation diminishes Poised Hammer's strength by forcing Iraq, Iran and the Iraqi Kurds to come to an agreement. Turkey hopes a solution will be found by the regional countries while the army remains for a while longer.
The United States, which was unable to stop the operation, wants the Turkish military to leave as soon as possible. It is for this reason that Washington has taken on the role of "guardian angel of the civilians". Isn't this the same United States which bombarded 300 thousand Iraqi civilians during the Gulf War?
This operation is not to be confused with the presence of the Turkish Army in northern Iraq during the Gulf War. Then Ozal wanted to enter northern Iraq to apply the U.S. plan; a Kurdish state was going to be established in any case so it was thought that it might as well be done under Turkish protection. The game was to gain a little in a loosing situation. This time the operation aims to go against the U.S. "Kurdish state" plan. There is no such intention as the annexation of Kirkuk--Mosul, although the U.S. influenced wing of the government will try to pull the operation in that direction.
The attempted appointment byCiller of Dogan Gures to the postion of defense minister was clearly a move to put the Turkish general staff under U.S. control.
The pro--Americans have no way out except for a military coup; therefore attempts at provoking chaos are to be expected from the United States.
The Turkish government's anti--U.S. wing is undecided and timid, the pro-- American wing is the exact opposite. Their representatives in the press express United States policy by using the same words as CIA sources.
The "courier" used by Ozal and the National Intelligence Agency (MIT) in relations with Talabani puts Turkey face--to--face with the choices the United States has to offer: "You either grow bigger or smaller", in other words if Turkey does not take Kurdistan under her protection as the United States demands she will be divided. "The only Turkish journalist to enter the Pentagon" repeats these threats from the CIA and the U.S. government in an arrogant manner.
If the Turkish state's anti--U.S. wing remains this blurred and intimidated attitude Turkey could end up with a military coup. The bloody foreign adventure would then have a "branch" inside the country.
What should be done in the light of what we have seen? Turkey must implement the following policies with determination:
(1.) Poised Hammer must leave our territory and the U.S. bases must be closed.
Poised Hammer and the U.S. bases, including Incirlik which represents an imperialist threat and a de facto tool for pressure, must immediately be removed from Turkish and Middle East territories.
(2.) The embargo on Iraq must be lifted. The loss suffered by Turkey as a result of the U.S.--pressured embargo on Iraq is evaluated at $40 billion. There is now a growing international movement to put an end to this embargo which handicaps the Turkish economy as much as Iraq's. Turkey must give her full support to France, China and Russia at the U.N. in fighting against its continuation. Turkey must pull back from this embargo, despite the U.S. veto, and renew economic ties with Iraq far from the U.S. control. the region's economies would then strengthen by the setting of mutual interests and weaken the U.S. use of the Kurdish issue.
(3.) A peaceful solution between the Kurdish organizations and countries of the region must be found.
In disagreements regarding Kurdish issues in the Middle East a strict attitude must be adopted towards imperialistic initiatives. The conflicts and problems must be handled by Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Kurdish organizations without interference from imperialistic states and on the base of the common interests of the peoples in the region.
The policies to be found must leave no room for the region's countries to use the Kurdish issue in disputes with each other. For the imperialist ground to be overthrown, the search of the Kurdish people for liberty and equality must be encoureged.
(4.) No to U.S. subcontracting!
Acting as a U.S. subcontractor, i.e. as covert proxy carrying out U.S. policies, and undertaking "battering ram" roles in Turkey, the Middle East, the Turkic Repulics, Central Asia and the Balkans must be stopped by the joint action of the regional countries.
(5.) The use of water and oil as a means of strengthening peace and friendship among the people of the area must be encouraged. In the 21th century, water will be as precious as oil and already the centers of imperialism are writing the scenarios of "water wars", including those in turkey. Turkey's southern neighbors have a lot of oil; a policy to use water and oil resources throughout the area in a peaceful and mutually beneficial manner must be followed.
(6.) A policy of a brotherly approach to peaceful solutions must be adopted in national and religious disputes from the Balkans to the Pacific. The New World Order project while proposing austerities and peace in Wealthies' Club of the North, provocates and imposes national slaughtering and disputes among the Oppresseds' World in the South and in the zone of imperialist partitioning ranging from Balkans to Pacific.
The policies of the imperialists have, throughout history, caused turmoil in nationalist and religious disputes in Turkey, the Balkans and the Caucasus. This policy is strong enough to break the nationalist and religious mosaic of Turkey, which, as in the First World War, is being pulled into the strong nations' struggle for power.
Turkey must immediately abandon the policy of cooperation with the imperialistic policy which chooses sides among the various groups surrounding her, introducing chaos. Turkey must do this by following a foreign policy of peace and understanding for the countries and the peoples of the region.
Many people displaced after nationalist religious wars in the Balkans, the Caucasus and the Middle East live in our country. Turkey represents the best choice for the setting of a brotherly example in this landscape of chaos. As during the War of Independence, Turkey has the dynamics to bring oppressed nations together against imperialist seperatism.
(7.) The Asian defense and peace chain. Our country holds the same interests as Azerbaijan, Georgia, Armenia, Iran in the Caucasus, the Turkic Republics, the People's Republic of China and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea in Central Asia and other oppressed Asian countries at heart. These countries are targets for the imperialist division struggle which makes solidarity and collaboration with them primordial for Turkey's independent foreign policy. Kazakhistan President Nazarbayev's Asia Defense and Cooperation Council for all Asian countries from China to turkey must be fully supported.
(8.) Solidarity with the Turkic Republics and the Kurdish peoples.
Turkey must develop relations with the Caucasus and Middle East countries, not as the U.S. subcontractor but on her own behalf based on the principles of equality and mutual interest. The historic religious and cultural ties among the Turkic peoples must be used for solidarity in the democratic fight against imperialism.
Relations must be developed with the Kurdish people living in Iraq, Iran, Syria and Russia, again under the sign of friendship.
Peaceful, interest--guarding and secure solutions must be found to prevent imperialist intervention in bringing of Caucasus oil to the Mediterranean.
(9.) The immediate brotherly solution to turkey's Kurdish problem: the constitutional principles and policies of the War of Independence.
There is already a remedy which has been successful in the solving of a matter similar to the Kurdish issue of today: the constitutional principles and policies of the War of Independence, which are now long--forgatten, which form a unique historical source for united, brotherly solutions.
The regulations and declarations of the Sivas and Erzurum Congresses, the Protocol of the Amasya Interview, Mustafa Kemal's enlightening talks and Ismet Pasha's official statements in Lausanne settle the basic principles of the solutions to the Kurd issue.
In short, the solution proposed after the War of Independence is based on the formation of a joint parliament and government ruled by the free will of the two peoples on a shared homeland, with respect to national rights and brotherly love under the identity of "peoples of Turkey".
(10.) For a successful foreign policy: the April 5 austerity measures must be lifted, the toiling masses' economic situation must be improved and democratization must enter every field of activity.
The policies of the Workers' Party summarized by these ten points are not unrealistic, they are applicable to today's world balance and represent the only pathway to independence.