The PKK attacks Turkey expected on
March 21-22 (Nevruz, spring festival) didn't occur. Nevruz festivities
throughout Turkey, and especially Kurdish areas, proceeded with few incidents.
This is good news. Turkish security forces began preparing in early February
for a PKK Spring offensive. There was concern that the Nevruz holiday would
mark the beginning of the PKK attacks. The Turkish security preparations made
many Iraqis anxious. Iraqi Kurds and the Iraqi government are trying to prevent
a large Turkish invasion of northern Iraq. Many feared that a "bloody Nevruz"
might lead to Turkish action. Turkey still maintains that PKK rebels inside
Iraq are preparing for offensive strikes later in the year.
March 23, 2007: Turkey reported that a land mine
blast in southeastern Turkey killed three soldiers. The soldiers were
participating in a special forces sweep. Two Turkish soldiers were wounded in a
firefight in the same operation.
March 14, 2007: American pressure on the PKK is one
reason European nations had conducted police raids on PKK operations in their
countries. Iraq is also moving against PKK rebels who use Iraqi territory.
Turkey wants the US and Iraq to attack a specific base area in northern Iraq.
So far that has not occurred, but the option remains open.
March 13, 2007: The U.S. is opposed to Turkish military action in
northern Iraq. This was the US response to a
Turkish assertion that it had the "right under international law" to
attack PKK terrorists in Iraq. Turkey also accuses Iraqi Kurds of providing aid
(specifically supplies) to the PKK. The U.S. fears that a Turkish incursion
would further destabilize Iraq.
March 9, 2007: Three Turkish "village guards"
(local security troops) died in a firefight with PKK rebels. The firefight took
place in Siirti (southeastern Turkey). Turkish troops were conducting an
operation against PKK rebels, The area is a major infiltration route into
Turkey from Iraq.