Oktay Ekşi: President Talabani's endeavors with the PKK

Turkish newspapers yesterday carried words by Talabani to Time magazine to the effect that "We have convinced the PKK to engage in a cease-fire. In a few days, they will announce an official cease-fire." But before the ink could even dry on these statements, it was also revealed yesterday that Talabani had told certain news agencies that "If Turkey and other neighbors interfere in our internal affairs, then we will interfere in Turkey's internal affairs, by lending support to their opposition forces."

Haberin Devamı

What needs to be done to shown Talabani his place is enough subject for an entirely different column. But before that, let's touch on this subject: Is it possible NOT to see the friendly relations between Talabani and the PKK which are contained in the phrase "We have convinced the PKK to engage in a cease-fire"?
When actually, it's important to recall that just a little while before he was elected Iraqi President, Talabani told Turkish Ambassador to Baghdad, Osman Koruturk, "Just as the Shiites have Iran, we have Turkey. In this new period, Turkey will be our greatest security."

Of course, the subject of the PKK came up during this meeting between Koruturk and Talabani. And Talabani at the time said "We will most definitely not allow threats from this region to your country. As Iraq, we will place importance on the weeding out of elements which threaten you."

The same Talabani, under the title of Iraqi President now, on an official visit to Russia, asked reporters "If the US were to pull out of Iraq tomorrow, who would prevent Turkey from entering Northern Iraq under the pretext of protecting the Turkmeni living there?"

Haberin Devamı

Three days after this, during a meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at New York's United Nations buildings, Talabani once again had a honeyed mouth, asserting that he "condemned all the PKK attacks against Turkey," even going so far as to note that "even more than the national interests of the Turks, the PKK was a threat to the Kurdish peoples' interests."

When reporters ask Talabani whether there will be "concrete steps" taken against the PKK, his answer is often "We are doing the best we can."

But for some reason, Talabani's "best" is not proving very fruitful. Which is why nothing has been done against the PKK. That is, until Turkey lost the last of its patience, and once more repeated its message on this subject to the US. Still, other than hanging "closed" signs on a few PKK bureaus across Iraq, Talabani and his administration have really done nothing on this front. And now, as you can see, Iraq has finally joined in the US process of stringing along Turkey. They continue-as I have written before-to joke around with us.

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