Turkey’s nationalist party leader urges gov’t not to repeat ‘Iraq mistake’
AA photoTurkey’s nationalist opposition leader has called on the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to stop the making of a “new Kandil” by Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) by not repeating a previously made “mistake,” citing the parliament’s refusal to take military initiative in Iraq a decade ago.
“In our opinion, a wrong look from the opposite side of history during the March 1 motion has led to opportunities going by,” Devlet Bahçeli, the leader of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), said on Feb. 16, referring to a motion introduced by the AKP in 2003 to allow the deployment of U.S. troops in Turkey and the deployment Turkish troops in Iraq as part of Washington’s military campaign against the Saddam Hussein regime.
The motion was turned down in parliament despite the AKP majority, with around 100 AKP lawmakers voting against it despite AKP officials’ efforts.
“Now, in north of Syria, the PKK/PYD terror is after creating a new Kandil and opening a corridor to so-called Kurdistan. I should immediately say that this should definitely not be allowed. The goal is making a fait accompli and bringing terrorists in a state with support from the U.S. and Russia,” Bahçeli said, addressing a meeting of his party’s parliamentary group.
Kandil is a byword for the leadership of the PKK, whose headquarters are in the Kandil Mountains in northern Iraq.
Ankara considers the PYD and its militia force, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), to be branches of the PKK, referred to by the government as a “terrorist separatist group” that has waged a decades-long insurgency against the Turkish state.
Turkey is strongly opposed to the creation of a united Kurdish region along its border with Syria, and has warned that it is willing to intervene to halt the project.