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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 October 2007, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Voices from Kurdish Iraq on Turkey
Kurdish Iraqis near the Turkish border react to Ankara's decision to allow cross-border incursions into northern Iraq, to hunt down Kurdish PKK rebels.

MATEEN, KURDISH, 50, RETIRED, IN DOHUK

I am 40-50km (25-30 miles) from the Turkish border. I could hear the shelling from Turkey earlier this week and it was heavier than ever. It's been going on for a few months.

There is great concern here locally about what Turkey is doing. This is the only secure region in Iraq. Tens of thousands of refugees have come here from other parts of the country, from Mosul, from Baghdad.

Click to view a detailed map of the border region

So, if there is any incursion from Turkey, it will mean the whole country will be in turmoil.

I have never come across any of the PKK. If they are here at all they would be in the highlands on the border with Turkey, not in the residential areas.

Even if there were a few hundred PKK in the whole region - there are thousands in Turkey. Turkey should sort out its own problems inside its own borders before doing anything else.

Turkey should handle this internal issue through dialogue. It cannot continue to deny the millions of Kurds inside Turkey their rights.

Turkey is using the PKK as an excuse to invade our area.

It has other agendas - shared by Iran and Syria - all of whom are against any Kurdish entity coming into existence, even inside Iraq.

The main reason why Turkey is doing this now is to disrupt next month's Kurdish referendum in Iraq.

JALAL SHEIK YUNIS, KURDISH, 61, ENGINEER, IN IRBIL

Because of its relative prosperity and security, this province has become an example that other parts of Iraq want to follow.

We are all Iraqis and have strong ties despite our differences

Should there be an invasion it would destroy what we have managed to build here in the last 15 years.

Bear in mind, economic investment in this region has been largely Iranian and Turkish.

However, if the Turks invade, we would fight them, all of us including those Arab Iraqis who live here.

We are all Iraqis and have strong ties despite our differences. We have grown used to wars.

People are not scared and the atmosphere is calm.

I feel sure the world will not stand by and allow us to suffer the fate of the Armenians who were massacred by the Ottoman Empire. The world has changed.

From BBC.Arabic.com

DWAN JAMALELDIN GARIB, KURDISH, 27, SALES ANALYST, IRBIL

I don't anticipate a full-scale invasion by Turkey.

I suspect what they are planning is a limited incursion to target the PKK.

But if Turkey launches a full assault, I think people would take up arms and resist, even though they have had enough of wars.

There is a great deal of sympathy here for the plight of the Turkish Kurds and the discrimination they endure in Turkey.

We hope that the world stands up to this Turkish arrogance and protect us.

From BBC.Arabic.com

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