Turkish officials give ‘red file’ to Barzani

Turkish officials give ‘red file’ to Barzani

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet

Turkish officials have demanded that Masoud Barzani, the leader of northern Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), exert more effort to curtail the activities of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on his territory.

During a meeting with Ankara officials on Nov. 5, Turkish officials requested Barzani’s peshmarga forces tighten airport controls, particularly in the capital of Arbil, as the PKK often prefers to transfer money from various European countries into the region through flight routes. The Turkish side also urged Barzani’s forces to heed intelligence provided by Turkey regarding such money transfers and to seize such cargo and apprehend the couriers.

Officials also reportedly handed Barzani a “red file” that included updated information regarding the movements of the PKK’s leading cadres inside northern Iraq, places they frequent and where they receive logistical support, according to daily Hürriyet.

The KRG leader met with Turkish President Abdullah Gül, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu during his visit to Turkey.

The PKK controls certain checkpoints on roads leading up to the Kandil Mountains, according to Turkish officials. The PKK militants who control these checkpoints retreat and withdraw when they see peshmarga forces approaching but come back once the forces leave the area. Turkish officials have therefore requested that the peshmarga engage the militants in clashes instead of merely contenting themselves when the PKK retreats.

The file presented to Barzani also called for more field intelligence to be supplied to Turkey, as the best intelligence comes from information obtained through the naked eye in the region, according to Turkish officials. The Turkish side requested that captured PKK militants should be turned over either to Turkey or to the tripartite command center in Arbil, rather than releasing them after a certain period.

Turkey further demanded 24-hour patrols on the border over points of infiltration by the PKK, as well as more peshmarga activity in outposts established on these points. When the peshmarga loses track of PKK militants, they should also notify Turkey of the situation, the file read.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey and much of the international community.