Turkey Demands US Action on Kurdish Rebels

PM reminds DC of help in Afghanistan; Iraqis urge nonmilitary action

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 25, 2007 2:50 PM CDT

(Newser) – As top Iraqis urged his country to quell Kurdish rebels with nonmilitary action, Turkish PM Recep Erdogan demanded that the US act to stop those rebels from threatening his country from northern Iraq, the New York Times reports. “We have a disturbance," Erdogan said. "What kind of disturbance did the United States have with Iraq?"

Erdogan noted that the US effort in Iraq put it in a strategic position to help Turkey, which aided the US in Afghanistan. Turkey has sent warplanes and "hot pursuit" raids into northern Iraq, but so far has stopped short of a full invasion. That choice, Erdogan asserted, was Turkey's to make: “[The US] can suggest, but we give the decision."

Turkish people wave national flags during a protest against the separatist Kurdish rebel group, the PKK, or Kurdistan Workers Party, in downtown Istanbul, Turkey, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2007. Turkish Prime...   (Associated Press)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures during a brief press conference at the Victoria Palace in Bucharest Romania Thursday Oct. 25 2007. Erdogan said Turkey's patience with the Kurdish...   (Associated Press)
Turkish demonstrators shout nationalist slogans during a protest against the separatist Kurdish rebel group, the PKK, or Kurdistan Workers Party, Istanbul, Turkey, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2007. Turkish Prime...   (Associated Press)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reviews the honour guard during a welcoming ceremony at the Victoria Palace in Bucharest, Romania,Thursday Oct. 25 2007. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)   (Associated Press)
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