Saturday, February 23, 2008

Turkish action in Iraq: a sign of declining US strategic power

Relations between the USA and Turkey seem to be in trouble.

On 17 October 2007, President Bush said: "We are making it very clear to Turkey that we don't think it is in their interests to send troops into Iraq."

On 21 February 2008, Turkey sent troops into northern Iraq to hunt down Kurdish PKK guerrillas.

Aijaz Ahmad and Paul Jay, at The Real News Network (A sign of declining US strategic power), point out the following:

1. America may want an independent Kurdistan.

2. Turkey and Iran oppose an independent Kurdistan.

3. Turkey did not send troops to help help the USA against Saddam in Iraq.

4. Congress voted for a resolution on the genocide of Armenians. This has annoyed Turkey.

5. Some of the small states in the Caspian region have become more friendly with Russia.

6. The chief of the Turkish general staff says that Turkey will have to reconsider its military relationships with the United States.

7. The USA looks weak.

An article at the Middle east Forum, in 2005, (A comedy of errors: American-Turkish Diplomacy and the Iraq War ...) made the following points:

1. In December 2004, Mehmet Elkatmış, head of the Turkish Parliament Human Rights Commission, accused the United States of "conducting genocide in Iraq."

Faruk Anbarcıoğlu, a Justice and Development Party (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi, AKP) deputy, suggested the dissolution of the Grand National Assembly's Turkish-American Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group.

2. While AKP has done little to improve relations—and indeed leading figures like Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül and Chairman of the Parliament Bülent Arınç have done much to exacerbate them—the erosion in Turkish-American relations revolves around the decision to use military force to overthrow Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

The American and Turkish media both focus on the March 1, 2003 Turkish Grand National Assembly decision against the deployment of Turkish troops in Iraq.


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