- Gun giveaways gain popularity among Republican candidates
- S.C. hospital worker slapped with $525 federal fine for refilling $0.89 soda
- Teen from ‘Jihad Jane’ plot becomes youngest ever to serve time on U.S. terror charges
- Iranian woman forgives son’s killer at the gallows
- Nebraska principal sorry for ‘don’t tattle’ flier
- Illinois readies to spend $100M for Obama museum in Chicago
- John Edwards back in court — this time as a lawyer for Va. boy’s malpractice case
- Covered California reports more than 200K in overtime Obamacare sign-ups
- Thanks, Chuck: Hagel says U.S. sending Ukraine sleeping mats, helmets
- HUMPRHIES: The Liberal Bully of the Week is …
Military action against Kurds not as likely
ISTANBUL — The governing party’s stunning re-election victory, which brought more than 100 deputies of Kurdish origin into parliament, has made the prospect of a large-scale Turkish military incursion into Iraq less likely, legislators said yesterday.
Results of Sunday’s election showed Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) won 46.6 percent of the votes and was projected to take 340 of the 550 seats in parliament.
That amounts to a crushing defeat for secularist and nationalist opposition parties, which had made Kurdish separatism a central plank of their electoral campaigns, said Orhan Miroglu, a Kurdish politician who was among Sunday’s winners.
Sunday”s results are a victory for common sense and civilian democracy over a politics of nationalism and foreign intervention, he said by telephone from the southern port city of Mersin.
With more than 100,000 troops on Iraq“s border, Turkey“s military for months has advocated a campaign against Kurdish guerrillas, who have attacked Turkish targets from bases in Northern Iraq. But it needs parliamentary permission to cross the border.
We”ve had enough war, he said. The time has come for a civilian solution.
Despite repeated assurances that it will do what is necessary to combat the separatist Kurdish Workers Party (PKK), the AKP drew increased support from Kurds living in southeastern Turkey — the heartland of Kurdish nationalism.
With unemployment in some Turkish Kurdish towns higher than 50 percent, legislators from the region face opposition from their constituents.
Much of Turkey“s $2.7 billion trade with Iraqi Kurdistan is in the hands of Turkish Kurds. The threat of a major Turkish offensive into northern Iraq already has caused some businessmen to return to Turkey.
Ihsan Bal, a security analyst at the Ankara-based International Strategic Research Organization, said small cross-border raids by highly trained Turkish anti-terrorist groups remained a possibility.
Anything bigger, Mr. Bal said, would be a sign of government weakness, and AKP has just been given an overwhelming public mandate.
Soft power is in the ascendant, he said.
How Turkish analysts interpret soft power depends on their political allegiances.
Umit Ozdag, the author of an unsuccessful bid last year to take over the leadership of the hard-line nationalist National Movement Party, which won 71 seats on Sunday, says Turkey should simply impose sanctions on Iraqi Kurds.
By John R. Bolton
Reality calls for attaching Gaza to Egypt and the West Bank to Jordan
- Joe Biden's first Instagram pic mocked as shill for sunglass ad
- Jews being told to register in Ukraine: John Kerry
- BOLTON: A 'three-state solution' for Middle East peace
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- Rand and Ron Paul ride to the rescue for Bundy in Nevada standoff with feds
- Removal of military gear limits options for U.S., NATO in Ukraine
- Cliven Bundy's Nevada ranch wrecked by retreating feds
- CURL: The state of the Union worse than you thought
- Army goes to war with National Guard, seizes Apache attack helicopters
- Nevada Bundy ranch standoff could leave dirt on Harry Reid reputation
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.