Turkey ready to take action against the PKK, says foreign policy advisor to Erdogan

Türkiye Materials 30 July 2007 15:24 (UTC +04:00)

( Cihannews ) - Turkey is prepared to carry out military operations against bases which the terrorist group the PKK holds, located inside northern Iraq, despite opposition from Washington, a senior advisor to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday. Egemen Bagis, foreign policy advisor to Erdogan said Turkey would prefer it if the US acted to combat the terrorist group, but is ready to intervene unilaterally if necessary.

"We are hoping that our allies will start doing something, but if they don't we don't have many options. Our allies should help us with the threat, which is clear and present. If an ally is not helping you, you either question their integrity or their ability." Bagis said that Washington needed to understand that Turkey was prepared to launch an operation into Iraq to strike at the PKK, saying that Ankara did not need to take permission from anyone to protect Turkish national interests.

The US's reluctance to act against the PKK, which has an estimated 5000 militants in camps in northern Iraq, has harming Turkish-US relations, Bagis said. "We are telling our allies that their image is going down," he said.