"Turkish Ambassador must be put on the carpet over invasion of Iraq"

23 February 2008

"Turkish Ambassador must be put on the carpet over invasion of Iraq"

Harry van Bommel has asked Foreign Affairs Minister Maxime Verhagen to summon the Turkish ambassador and make clear his strong disapproval of the invasion of Iraq. The SP Member of Parliament and foreign affairs spokesman is extremely concerned over this latest invasion carried out in the north of Iraq by Turkish land forces. Tens of thousands of troops are said to have crossed the border and according to an announcement from the Turkish army leadership they will remain there until 'the goals are achieved.'

Harry van BommelFollowing the bombardment several times in recent months of Turkish-Kurd PKK guerrilla camps in the inhospitable Kandil mountain range in the north-east of Iraq, land forces have now crossed the border. “The problem with rebellious Kurds in Turkey is political," says Van Bommel. "Only the recognition of the political and cultural rights of the Turkish Kurds can put an end to the PKK uprising. Because of this there must be an agreement as to how these combatants can be reintegrated into Turkish society. A new war of intervention is not going to help this."

The Kurds in Iraq fear that Turkey is looking to warn them not to involve the oil-rich province of Kirkuk in the Kurdish regional government. Turkey appears to be seeking to limit the development of a strong Kurdish identity. This question remains unresolved, while Turkey, moreover, interferes in Iraq's internal affairs. “The invasion threatens above all the Iraqi Kurds' fragile peace in the north of Iraq," says Van Bommel. "I fear that one of the aims of this operation is to oppose a democratic Iraqi Kurdistan. That cannot be permitted. The minister must protest against it.”

You are here