Turkey insists that an "ethnically divided" Iraq would mean greater
regional instability. This is Turkey's way of saying that it would not accept
an independent Kurdish state (presumably centered in northern Iraq). The
statement came after recent reports from Iraq that various Iraqi Kurdish groups
were threatening to "secede" from Iraq. Turkey has opposed any partitioning of
14, 2006: The United States has begun a new diplomatic initiative designed to
cut off international funding sources for the PKK. Europe is a major source of
PKK funds. Some of the money comes from Kurds working in Europe. The US and
Turkey also contend that the PKK is involved in organized crime. The PKK
rejects this claim. However, the US says it has evidence the PKK is involved in
drug trafficking and money laundering. The PKK is definitely involved in the illegal
arms trade - including buying arms in southeastern Europe and moving them to
southeastern Turkey. The diplomatic initiative may not be very effective in
terms of cutting off funds, but it does send the message to Turkey that the US
is trying to help curb the PKK. The US announcement followed a December 11
meeting between the Turkish and US special envoys who are exploring ways to
deal with the PKK.
12, 2006: Turkish security forces reported several anti-PKK sweeps in
southeastern Turkey founds supply dumps and explosives. The actions took place
in the Bingol, Hatay, Siirt, and Diyarbakir areas. In Diyarbakir the security
forces found 150 "explosive mechanisms," a small amount of explosives, and
several electronic devices - in other words, the recipes for small bombs. The
security forces also reported finding medical supplies in "winter shelters."
That's an important tip. Winter is well on its way and that usually means a
drop in combat operations - it's too cold. Rebel groups store supplies for use
in a future "spring offensive."
8, 2006: The crash of a Turkish military helicopter is believed to be the
result of a remote control PKK bomb.
5, 2006: Turkish security forces reported that their units killed five PKK
guerrillas in a series of firefights in southeastern Turkey. The reports
indicated the engagements occurred in the Turkey-Iraq border area.