‘If We Back Turkey We Will be Called Motherland Traitors’ – Political Leader of Iraqi Turkmans
Azerbaijan, Baku / Тrend corr S. Ilhamgizi / Iraq's Turkic population of Turkmans neither support nor oppose Turkey's possible military actions to neutralize the terrorist organization - the Kurdish Worker Party (PPK), Anvar Bayrakdar, the head of the Adalat Party of Iraqi Turkmans, told Trend from Kirkuk on 25 October.
According to Bayrakdar, Turkish Army's military operations on neutralization of the PPK represent neither threat nor use to Iraqi Turkmans. Therefore, Turkmans neither openly support nor protest against Turkey's policy against the PPK. The PPK has its bureaus in the regions inhabited with Turkmans, but the organization's armed activists are located in the mountains. That is why PPK's armed members are not dangerous for Turkmans.
Danger can proceed only from Iraq's radical nationalist-Kurds. According to Bayrakdar, Kurdish organizations in Iraq threaten Turkmans saying that in case the Turkish army attacks the PPK they will annihilate the Turkman party's offices and organizations.
"Only Kurdish organizations threatening Turkmans can put us under a danger," he said. Iraqi Turkmans believe that the decision to combat the PPK is Turkey's internal affair and that the country's struggle for protection of its territory and nation should remain in Turkey. Therefore, Turkmans do not interfere with the internal cases of other countries and with such processes.
"There is one important point - Iraqi Turkmans are Iraqis. And Turkey is Iraq's neighbouring country. All international laws say that countries must not interfere with internal processes of one another. If we openly support Turkey, Iraq will call us 'Motherland traitors'," the chairman said.
Turkish fighters and helicopters intervened along the 30-40km to Iraq and have been bombing PPK bureaus for two days. "Since the beginning of the operation up until now Turkey has not harmed the civilian and peaceful population," he said.
Official Ankara states 3,500 militants of the Kurdish Worker Party (PPK) are hiding in the hilly area of northern Iraq and they regularly commit acts of terrorism in Turkey. On 17 October, Turkish Parliament allowed the Turkish Government to intervene by going to Iraq to carry out a trans-border military operation against Kurdish separatists in northern Iraq.
Since 1984, the PPK has been struggling for independence for Kurds residing in south-eastern Turkey. Since then, the conflict has claimed some 40,000 victims. The UN and EU have already recognized the PPK as a terrorist organization.