On terrorday last week I read a very worrying report in the Austrian newspaper Der Standard regarding an interview the Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, gave to Hurriyet. I haven't been able to find any mention in the anglophone press, but it's very important if true. Here is a link to Der Spiegel's report of it, anyway. The story is essentially as follows: Turkish PM goes to Turkey's top newspaper - and threatens to invade Iraq. Erdogan sez, "we can't stand much more, and if it's necessary we will invade". He's referring to a recent rash of Kurdish guerrilla activity in the south-east. This is very serious indeed.
Bizarrely, though, I really can't see what the benefit of invading Kurdistan is to Turkey; you have to assume that the Kurds will fight like hell, and will make use of any and all kit and money provided to the peshmerga in their role as part of the Iraqi army as well as whatever they can obtain from the Iraqi arms bazaar. And when they get to Mosul (or wherever)? What then? Try another thirty years' coercion? Go home tamely? At the moment, Turkey is protected to a large extent from the jihad raging in Iraq: by the existence of Kurdistan. The Kurds hate jihadis like, well, bloody death hatred and kill'em whenever they get the chance. They've traditionally enjoyed good relations with such organisations as the CIA and the Israelis. I wouldn't be at all surprised if an independent Kurdistan applied to join the EU. But once the Turks go in, you can rely on a large movement of the New-Old Iraqi Army up there to fight the Nato-linked, EU-corrupted apostate betrayers of the capital of the Caliphs. For the first time, they will recruit up north too. The Kurds may hate them, but if it comes down to a serious matter like land they'd make common cause with Idi Amin if it helped. And they, the jihadis, will take the war to Turkey itself.
If I was a Turkish spook, I wouldn't be planning to attack the Kurds. I'd arm them, trade with them, finance them, and sleep soundly knowing I had one of the most bitter bunches of mountain killers in the world between me and the chaos in Iraq. And I'd still have the menace of invading them available. Just one thing: do not declare a sovereign state - yes, be one, but don't say it. I wouldn't want to be shot by my own side.
Another bizarre thing in the statement is that, according to the Turkish Army, US forces have been ordered to arrest the PKK leadership. If this is true, what happens to the Kurdish forces that make up the few effective Iraqi government units? And the US force (one brigade) up north does not look a lot in that case, aside from a lot of fools.
Some more here - Die Welt