2008: Turkish warplanes are again
hitting PKK targets in northern response. This is believed to be in response to
recent PKK operations in southeastern Turkey, where PKK operatives have planted
anti-vehicle mines and roadside bombs against army patrols. The level of PKK
violence is less than last year, reflecting Turkish anti-PKK operations in
northern Iraq over the last year.
2008: Turkey and Iraq continue to tout the Iraqis July promise to "crackdown"
on PKK operations inside Iraq. Iraq wants good relations with Turkey for
several reasons. A lot of Iraqi oil is shipped by pipeline through Turkey. Turkey
is also an ally against Syria and looks askance at the mullah regime in Iran.
The Turkish government wants to improve trade with Iraq and believes it could
grow to $25 billion a year by 2011 or 2012. Turkish-Iraqi bilateral trade in
2007 was between $3.5 and $4 billion dollars – at least official trade. As for
smuggling? Take a guess.
2008: Does the PKK still have connections with Russia? The PKK certainly began
as a Cold War-era Marxist organization. The Turkish press is at least asking
the question, albeit indirectly.
2008: Turkey reported nine soldiers died when a roadside bomb detonated in
eastern Erzincan province. One report called it a "guerrilla explosive" –
meaning an IED.
2008: Turkish officials said that it may take up to two weeks to repair the
"fire and blast damaged" Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.
2008: The PKK are fighting an oil war. A separate Kurdistan would have billions
of barrels of oil. There is also a domestic Turkish angle and one that has interesting
resonance with the Russo-Georgia War. The PKK took "credit" for an explosion
that damaged the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in eastern Turkey. Turkey had
earlier said that the fire on the pipeline was not due to sabotage. The
pipeline carries about 1.2 million barrels of oil a day.
2008: Turkish security officials said that the PKK was responsible for the July
27 bombing in Istanbul. "Several suspects" had been arrested. 17 people died in
the terror bombings (two attacks) and 150 people were injured. The PKK has
denied responsibility for the attack at least twice.
killed five Turkish "village guardsmen" in an attack in Turkey's Sirnak
2008: Turkish security troops killed two PKK rebels in a battle in Tunceli province,
near the town of Ovacik
2008: Two Turkish gendarmes were wounded and one killed when their vehicle was
ambushed near the city of Sivas (central Turkey).
2008: The PKK denied responsibility for the terror bombings in Istanbul. A Turkish
media source quoted the PKK as saying the terror attack was the work of "dark
forces." The phrase "dark forces" could mean most anything – ultra-right Turk
nationalists, various types of fascists, hard left terrorists, even Al Qaeda
2008: Two bombs went off in a residential area in Istanbul. The attacks
occurred during the late evening. 17 people were killed. Initial reports
indicate 150 more were wounded. The bombs were hidden in trash bins. According
to police, the first bomb went off then people gathered, many to help those
injured in the first blast. The second bomb then went off – and that's when
scores more were wounded. This tactic is a tactic used by terrorists to "up the
ante" in an attack. It is often an "anti-security forces" (anti-police or even
firemen) tactic. The bombs are usually detonated by timers, with a five to
twenty minute gap between the first detonation and the second (to allow time
for the police and aid teams to arrive).