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The US is clearly kidding around with us on the PKK

By Oktay Eksi
Dear friends, our strategic partners, the US, have called on the PKK to leave off their weapons. Yes, they have made this call, but it was as though what they were really trying to do was give the PKK more moral support. The spokesperson for the US State Department, as though recalling an "historical event," intoned that it was the "22nd anniversary since the PKK took up its violent struggles." As it was, the way the announcement was reflected in the press made it clear that the style used by the State Department was the same as the one used when the US was making a polite request.

We have no choice but to see now where we stand, as a nation which has been strung along for two years by the US on the subject of the "struggle against the PKK."

It was first in 2004 that a newspaper in Turkey wrote of the statement from a US official that the "goal of the US" was to "clear the PKK out of Northern Iraq."

In a statement to NTV, President Bush also said in June of 2004 that "We will work together in the fight against the PKK. When we identify a particular group as terrorists, we are sincere in our actions. We will work with both the Turkish and the Iraqi governments on this question."

In August of 2004, Condoleezza Rice, who was then chief advisor for National Security, said "We do not want these forces, who we have already characterized as terrorists, to attack Turkey. We will continue to cooperate with our Turkish allies on this question."

Later, in August 2004, the then-US Secretary of State Colin Powell said to Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul "I will sit down with military commanders and advisors to figure out what we can do on the subject of the PKK."

Of course, it was in January of 2005 that newspapers in Turkey announced that "US authorities are in the Kandil Mountains meeting with PKK officials."

Later in January, Turkish newspapers printed a quote from the head general of US forces in Iraq, John Abizaid, who promised to "prevent logistical support" from reaching PKK forces hiding in the Northern Iraqi Kandil Mountains.

Even if we were to never understand quite what it was the US was planning to do with the PKK forces in Iraq, there was the comment from Rice to Gul that was quoted in Turkish newspapers in June of 2005, in which Rice promised "We will enter into serious cooperation in the fight against the PKK."

Well, there have been many more announcements from the US on the subject of the fight against the PKK which I have not yet documented herein. But in the end, we have come to the point of hearing an official declaration from the US addressed to the PKK requesting that they leave off their weapons.

And now we are told that an organization headed by special coordinators (appointed by the US, Turkey, and Iraq) is being created to direct the struggle against the PKK. Turkey will appoint its own coordinator after finding out who the US has appointed to this position from its own side.

If it were up to me, they would appoint a PKK representative to the position. That is clearly the only way the struggle will achieve any success.

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