According to American law, PKK is a terrorist organization which is not different than Al-Qaeda. And also, British Preventing Terrorism Act recognizes PKK as one of the most cruel terrorist organizations, and forbids supporting PKK and being a member of PKK. In London, wearing a t-shirt which has colors of PKK on it is a sufficient cause to be sent to prison. According to laws of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and other members of European Union, PKK is a terrorist organization too; it is maintenance to terrorism and a crime to support PKK. Similarly, on 8 August 2007, Iraqi Prime Minister Al Maliki was in Ankara and explained that PKK is a terrorist organization and it is not different than Al Qaeda in plain and precise terms.
In brief, there is no doubt that PKK is a terrorist organization. International law and domestic laws set combating this cruel terrorist organization as a task to states, security forces and courts. In spite of this situation, PKK terrorist organization forms associations under different names in many EU countries, receives tribute under donations, arranges militant training under the name of woman and youth organizations at the heart of the EU. In some EU countries like France, Belgium and Sweden, they prepare TV programs calling the Kurdish people for violence and uprising against Turkey and broadcast these programs from Denmark to the whole Europe and Middle-East by using Euro satellite. And all these activities can be legitimized by some of the European courts or governments as a part of human rights, minority rights and so on. In addition to the European experience, the most surprising case can be seen in Iraq which is almost governed by US. Even tough US and Iraq both define PKK as a terrorist organization, date from 2003 there are more than 20 armed training camps, in Northern Iraq. Additionally, in some cities like Baghdad, Mosul, Kirkuk and Sulaimaniya, there are associations, companies and offices affiliated with PKK. All these offices, camps are confirmed by Iraqi government, US, and Kurdish local administration of Iraq too. Moreover, while beginning to occupation of Iraq, US had promised to remove these camps at the level of president, ministers and ambassadors. President George W. Bush, all foreign secretaries and defense secretaries since 2003 declared that Al-Qaeda and the PKK are both terrorist organizations in the eyes of US and explained in plain and precise terms that they won’t allow PKK’s activities. And also, Talabani, Barzani and Iraqi government have given similar commitments to Turkey. In spite of it, the US and other political actors in Iraq didn’t start to act to bar PKK’s activities. On the contrary, the PKK redoubled its financial power and multiplied number of terrorists and arms in Northern Iraq. And the PKK could freely go around all around Iraq. The worst is that, the PKK has killed around 100 security forces in eight months of 2007 alone and kidnapped villagers, assaulted passenger coaches and trains in Turkey. And origin of all these terrorist activities has been Iraq.
In this frame, Turkey suggests 3 options to US and Iraq:
- US and Iraq will act to destroy PKK camps or if they cannot tackle with the PKK terrorists alone,
- US, Iraq and Turkey together will act to destroy these camps in collaboration or if they still cannot fight the PKK terrorism,
- Turkey alone will act to destroy these camps.
Against Turkey’s complaints and suggestions, Americans affirm that they can not destroy these camps alone and list the reasons as; insufficient forces and also absence of legal arrangement to do it etc. The US says that the Baghdad Government is competent about this subject and they ask Turkey to negotiate the subject with the Baghdad Government, not the US. And when Turkey turns to Baghdad and warns the Baghdad Government, makes proposal to the Iraqis, yet Iraqi officials reply as they aren’t able to destroy the camps; and add that only American army, Barzani and Talabani could destroy PKK terrorism, not the Bahgdad Government forces. And the Baghdad Government affirms that Kurdish local administration of Iraq is in charge of combating terrorist camps. In response, Turkey turns to Arbil and has talks with Barzani and Talabani, offers the same options to them. The answer that Turkey gets is same as the Washington’s and Baghdad Government’s answer: Not having the authority to act to destroy the camps and insufficient forces.
Whoever Turkey discusses this subject, the answer is the same: ‘Another administration is in charge of this subject, not me’. And more than 4 years passed without a solution and no tangible measure against the PKK terrorism. US accepts that the PKK is a terrorist organization, they have camps in Iraq and also the US accepts that they with the Baghdad Government are responsible for the PKK camps. But the US doesn’t act. Moreover, Turkish Security Forces have recently captured some terrorists and they realized that captured terrorists have weapons of the American Army. In Iraq there is a loss of 200,000 American weapons and it is said that the PKK terrorists have significant number of these weapons. Some the captured PKK militants confess that the US subvenes the PKK by providing army weapons. Likewise, the American and Israeli media have reported that the US supports the PKK against some countries (notably against Iran) in the Middle-East. There are some other reports which affirm that Barzani support PKK, too.
When we consider all these data, it is seen that Americans and Iraqis deliver some promises and by this way, they prevent Turkey to do a cross border operation. But they must consider that Turkish public opinion gets angry about this subject. Turkey is the US’s one of the most confidential allies for the decades, but the relations get worse because of the US’s attitude on the PKK terrorism. The unreliable attitudes regarding terrorism of the Iraqi Government, Barzani and Talabani shape Turkish public opinion against Iraq and Iraqi Kurds. Thanks to the mistrust deepening among the Turks against the US and its Iraqi partners, Turkey can not make enough contribution to the US and Iraq in re-building and securing Iraqi territories. The worst is that, Turkey’s support to US in combating global terrorism will also be affected in coming years.
9 August 2007
Translated by Jale Aktug