BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Russian Polish Albanian Greek Czech Ukrainian Serbian Turkish Romanian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Europe  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Monday, 21 October, 2002, 10:27 GMT 11:27 UK
US aims to soothe Turkish fears
franks
Franks faces the thorny of issue of Iraq's Kurds

Military action against Iraq is expected to top the agenda as US Chief of Central Command General Tommy Franks visits Turkey.

General Franks and Nato's supreme allied commander, Joseph Ralston, have arrived in a country obsessed with the prospect of military action against its south-eastern neighbour.

nationalist Turks
Nationalist Turks demonstrate their determination to fight Iraqi Kurds
As the only Nato member with a border with Iraq, Turkey fully expects to be called upon to assist in any operation.

Over the past few months, Turkey's concerns have shifted.

Earlier in the year, the government took every opportunity to express its hostility to the notion of military action.

Now, perhaps persuaded of the inevitable, it stresses its concerns about what the end result might be.

Turkey's politicians are worried that the US has done a deal with the Kurds who control northern Iraq - some sort of autonomy in exchange for Kurdish help in toppling Saddam Hussein.

Over and over again, Turkey has told anyone that will listen that it will not tolerate an autonomous Kurdish state.

Feverish mood

Turkey fought for 15 years with Kurds in south-eastern Turkey in a civil war which cost more than 30,000 lives.

Incirlik
The Incirlik base in Turkey is key if the US goes in against Iraq
It is concerned that any Kurdish state to the south might inflame sentiment within Turkey's borders.

US officials have said that they understand the Turkish position, but it has not calmed the feverish atmosphere amongst politicians and the media.

The military were quick to deny reports over the weekend that they had sent 12,000 troops into northern Iraq as a pre-emptive measure.

But there is a high level of speculation that Turkey could get directly involved in any action against Iraq.


Key stories

Analysis

CLICKABLE GUIDE

BBC WORLD SERVICE

AUDIO VIDEO

TALKING POINT
See also:

30 Sep 02 | Europe
01 Oct 02 | Middle East
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes