Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/523/3853

From The Socialist newspaper, 4 March 2008

Turkey's invasion destabilising region

ON 21 February up to 10,000 Turkish troops backed by helicopter gunships and aircraft bombers invaded northern Iraq. The ostensible aim of the Turkish government in the invasion was to stop the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) Kurdish separatist guerrillas using northern Iraq to launch attacks inside Turkey.

Dave Carr

Only after eight days of intense US government pressure and the visit of US defence secretary Robert Gates to Turkey last week, did a withdrawal of troops begin.

But when it comes to invading a sovereign country to 'pre-empt terrorist attacks', the US can hardly complain. After all, that is what George Bush did in Iraq in March 2003!

But the Turkish military failed in their stated aims, despite claims that they inflicted 'heavy casualties' on the PKK (with the loss of an admitted 24 Turkish soldiers).

The estimated 3,000 PKK guerrillas in northern Iraq are familiar with the mountainous terrain and largely evaded the Turkish troops - melting away further south into the Kurdish heartland of northern Iraq, or crossing the border into neighbouring Iran.

Many suspect that the real aim of the invasion is to undermine the Kurdish region of northern Iraq which has an autonomous status within Iraq.

Such a political entity - on the path to being a Kurdish state on Turkey's doorstep - cannot be tolerated by Turkey's generals and ruling class who have waged a decades-long campaign to suppress Kurdish nationalism in the predominately Kurdish area of south east Turkey.

More than 30,000 people have been killed - mainly in Turkish military operations - after the PKK launched its armed campaign for a Kurdish homeland in 1984. The PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan was captured in 1999 and its fighters sought refuge in northern Iraq.

A further reason behind the invasion is the attempt by Turkey's powerful military elite to reassert its grip domestically to counter the recent political gains of the moderate Islamic government of prime minister Recep Erdogan.

Despite recognising that earlier Turkish incursions into Iraq have failed to dislodge the PKK, Erdogan has ridden the tide of Turkish nationalism, especially after 40 Turkish soldiers were killed in a PKK ambush inside Turkey last October.

US dilemma

In order to appease Turkey's military, the US since last autumn has been supplying intelligence on PKK bases in northern Iraq, allowing Turkish airstrikes.

However, the US (which along with the EU has branded the PKK a terrorist organisation and has approved 'hot pursuits' of PKK guerrillas by Turkey) has been embarrassed by its Nato ally's invasion of Iraq. Not least, because the Iraqi Kurdish leaders are America's closest allies in Iraq and the only Iraqi ethnic group to support the US occupation of Iraq.

Moreover, the Kurdish area of northern Iraq is the only relatively stable part of a fragmenting Iraq. The concern of the US state department is that the invasion could escalate into a wider and bloodier regional conflict.

The main victims in this geopolitical conflict are the Kurdish and Turkish civilians living in the war zone. The Socialist reported in January (Issue 515) that bombing raids of Kurdish villages inside Iraq have killed and injured many civilians and forced thousands to flee despite the harsh winter conditions.


1,000 demonstrate against invasion

AROUND 1,000 people gathered in east London to show their opposition to the Turkish invasion. On an angry and noisy demonstration, the invasion was condemned and there was relief that it appeared that the Turkish troops were withdrawing.

But marchers wanted more than a temporary respite and the call also went up for improved national rights for the Kurdish people, who made up the majority of the demonstration. A very heavy-handed police presence did not succeed in intimidating the peaceful demonstrators.

Socialist Party members took part, calling for all imperialist troops to get out of Iraq, for the rights of the Kurds to self-determination and for a socialist solution to the problems of the Middle East.

Despite some language barriers, many signed a Socialist Party petition, donating 45 to our funds, and 30 copies of The Socialist were sold.

Ben Robinson

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 4 March 2008:

Unite for a living wage

Greenwich workers score victory against single status

Angry civil servants strike over pay


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Thousands protest at threats to hospital

Rewarded for zeal at cuts

Derby health workers


International Women's Day

Fight for a woman's right to choose


Anti-War

DEMONSTRATE

$3 trillion Iraq war

Sheffield activists fight militarism


Environment and socialism

Walthamstow 'RAPpers' against toxic incinerators


Socialist Party news and analysis

Housing association collapses

Meet Brown's new finance expert

Fans blow whistle on Game 39

Campaign to Defeat Fees

Swansea - no sign of Griffin!


International socialist news and analysis

Turkey's invasion destabilising region

Russian election

EU war with super-rich?


Workplace news and analysis

Pensions under attack

Unison witch-hunt: Members bite back

Teachers must reject real pay cuts

Greenwich workers fight attacks

Socialist Party member stands for Unite (T&G) general executive


 

Home   |   The Socialist 4 March 2008   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Turkey:

triangleStop the war on the Kurds

triangleLondon: Support event for education workers in Turkey

triangleKurdish referendum declared illegal

triangleTurkey: constitutional referendum result a pyrrhic victory for Erdogan

triangleAttacks ratchet-up Syrian conflict and fuel tensions between powers

Invasion:

triangleOpinion: British imperialism can take no credit in fight against Isis

Iraq:

triangleMovement challenges Iranian regime

triangle'From Militant to the Socialist Party' - new book now available

triangleHow Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party

PKK:

triangleManchester Socialist Party: The Kurds and the PKK

triangleSyria: Is an end to the war in sight?

US:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

War:

triangleCorbyn's left must seize the advantage in Labour's civil war

Middle East:

triangleCapitalists fear for their system at Davos

Nato:

triangleLibya: imperialist intervention helped wreck country and revolution

Kurdistan:

triangleTurkey: Erdogan seeks sweeping dictatorial powers in referendum

Iran:

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: The Iran 1979 revolution

International

International

14/2/18

France

France: rallies in support of oppressed Kurdish people

14/2/18

Unemployed

Big political strike against Finnish government's attack on unemployed

14/2/18

Brazil

Brazil: Lula conviction confirmed

14/2/18

South Africa

Cape Town drought

7/2/18

China

May's silence is a green light for Chinese repression

7/2/18

Tamil Solidarity

Protesters denounce oppressive Sri Lankan regime

7/2/18

Sudan

Sudan: Mohamed Satti released - global solidarity campaign gets results!

31/1/18

Kurds

Stop the war on the Kurds

31/1/18

Austria

Vienna: 50,000 march against racism and austerity

31/1/18

Kurds

Stop the war on the Kurds

24/1/18

Palestine

Punishment of Tamimi family awakens wave of international solidarity

17/1/18

Hong Kong

Stop repression in Hong Kong and China

17/1/18

Tunisia

Tunisia: explosion of protests against government austerity

10/1/18

Iran

Movement challenges Iranian regime

10/1/18

Appeal

Appeal from Iranian independent unions

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999