According to the top representative of Turkish army Yasar Büyükanit the army attacked a group of approximately 50 rebels from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) on 1st December in the north of Iraq causing a major death toll within their ranks. The operation was carried out in accordance with latest statements made by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. PKK confirmed just an air raid conducted by several Turkish helicopters along the frontier during which, however, nobody was injured according to the PKK spokesperson. The US army in Baghdad as well as the White House disputed the realisation of any similar action in the Iraqi territory and refused to comment it. For several weeks, Ankara has been announcing a military action aimed against the bases of the 3,500 separatist Kurdish insurgents who have been making terrorist attacks on Turkey from Northern Iraq. Ankara is also ready to carry it out at any time even despite the disapproval of the Central Iraqi Government, the representatives of the autonomous Kurdish province in the north of Iraq as well as the International Community. As regards the current situation in the Anatolian-Iraqi borderland, it is intriguing to scrutinise the Kurdish issue in broader context.
The Kurds – a factor that tilts the peace scales
The Kurds are considered the biggest nation without own state. The opinions on what is the precise number of the Kurds vary greatly according to those who count. On the one hand the Kurds themselves talk about figures exceeding thirty million, but on the other hand countries and politicians, that strive to restrict their influence and demands as much as possible, often give half the amount. The overall number is estimated to be between 20 and 35 million. The majority of them, around fifteen million, live in Turkey where they comprise approximately twenty per cent of the population. About seven million of them live in Iran (9-10 per cent), between four and six million in Iraq (19-23 per cent) and two million in Syria (6-8 per cent). The rest of them live also in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and other regions south of Caucasus.
The Kurds are a nation of Indo-European origin. They are derived from the Medes who settled in the region in the 7th century BC and were later subjugated by the Persians. They emphasise that they had lived in the region long before the arrival of the Arabs. In the 14th century, they were bad luck to find themselves in a boundary territory of two huge empires, namely the Persian and the Ottoman one.
The best opportunity for the Kurds to establish their own state arose after World War I, because the independent Kurdistan was also included in the peace treaty signed by Turkey at the United Nations conference in Sevres in 1920. Due to the Turkish pressure, however, no clause concerning the Kurdish state was encompassed in the revised Lausanne treaty (in 1923). Geopolitical situation wasn’t in favour of the Kurds. In 1926, western powers divided the Turkish Kurdistan into three parts: the largest one remained in Turkey, the smaller one was given to Iraq and the smallest one was allotted to Syria. Subsequently, this division was confirmed by the British-Iraqi-Turkish agreement.
In 1946, the Republic of Mahabad was declared by Iraqi and Iranian Kurds in Iranian territory, however, it didn’t last a long time. When the Soviet Union, under the patronage of which the enclave originated, signed a treaty on economic collaboration with the Shah of Iranian, it revoke its support and in the course of several days, the top representatives of the Kurds, leaded by the President Mustafa Barzani (the father of Masud Barzani, the current President of Kurdish Autonomous Government) ended up in prisons and on scaffolds. The Gulf War in 1991 stood for the second Kurdish chance when an independent Kurdistan originated in the north of Iraq under the umbrella of the UN. It was continually protected by the US air force which prevented Saddam Hussein from any kind of intervention or an attempt to reverse the autonomy. Kurdish provinces, protected by the Americans in contrast to the rest of Iraq, developed politically, socially as well as economically. The toppling of the Baas party regime in 2003 and the constitution of a new Iraqi government, in which Iraqi Kurds are largely represented, was a historical chance to establish an independent Kurdistan. I mean not only the Iraqi one, but the Great Kurdistan, i.e. the state of all Kurds.
Theoretically, the Kurdish state could originate in the territory of south-eastern Turkey, north-eastern Iraq, north-western Iran and north-eastern Syria. It would be approximately double the size of Slovakia and more densely populated than the up-to-date Iraq. It would possess enough resources for an independent existence, namely oil, water, population and an abundant and skilled intelligentsia. Anyway, the Great Kurdistan remains meanwhile utopia. It isn’t upheld by any superpower and even the Kurds themselves aren’t optimistic as far as this idea is concerned.
The Kurdish burning question is not whether the establishment of an independent Kurdish state will be realised, but if Kurdish aspirations are to be reconciled with all the states involved, Turkey in particular.
The differences between the statuses of the Kurds in particular countries and tendencies regarding the solution of their status are rather distinct from the viewpoint of Kurdish minority as well as host countries.
Nowadays, the Kurds in Iraq have the vastest rights. In the new Iraqi constitution is written that Iraq is composed of the Kurds and the Arabs. The constitution imposed a federal system which secures autonomy to the Kurds. Iraq is at the same time the only country that provided the Kurds with the right to have their own parliament and schools and to teach their languages.
Pro-western Kurdistan in the north-east of the country is doubtlessly the most democratic part of Iraq at present. This year in May, the Americans entrusted to the Kurds the security of their provinces which was perceived by many people a symbolic step towards the origin of a new Kurdish state. It is exactly the relative security within Kurdish provinces that used to be and still is their comparative advantage and augured the economic development. The contrast between Irbil, the capital of autonomous Kurdistan, and Baghdad can hardly be sharper. Whereas in the capital of Iraq, ruins, garbage and weed has accumulated, Irbil has taken the shape of a prosperous city with clean streets, governmental buildings, growing number of foreign consulates and newly constructed international airport. Since the younger generation of Kurdish leaders sees no avail in the existence of Iraq which flounders owing to the civil war, it is automatically assumed that these leaders will gradually exert pressure in order to achieve the complete independence of Kurdistan.
The Kurds, however, are careful and don’t think of an official declaration of independence. Although the current Iraqi President Talabani is of Kurdish origin, he pursues the preservation of federal system and the unity of Iraq. Kurdistan keeps on using Iraqi dinar and is still dependent on the state budget to a large extent. Moreover, in spite of the US support the Kurds are still dreading the reaction of powerful neighbours, namely Iran, Syria and Turkey, where the oppression of the Kurdish minority has just strengthened separatist tendencies. By a unilateral declaration of independence they would risk the stirring up of violent reactions. Apart from this, nowadays, most of Arab Iranians considers the Kurds to be enemies due to the collaboration with the Americans. Although on one level the leaders of Iraqi Arabs claim unofficially that they understand and recognise the right of the Kurds for self-determination, on another level they are not willing to yield up the richest oil deposits in the country (1). The new constitution grants individual Iraqi provinces a proportional division of incomes from oil sale according to the number of inhabitants. At present, the Kurds get a huge proportion, namely 17 per cent out of the overall income which amounts to a not negligible sum considering the price 100 dollars per barrel. Taking into account the situation in other provinces, i.e. civil war and a frequent damaging of oil pipelines which curbs the oil supplies from massive southern deposits, the Iraqi income would shrink in the case of Kurdistan, the most prosperous province at present, declaring its independence.
The reason is that in the north of Iraq, particularly in the surrounds of the towns of Kirkuk, Mossul and Khanaqin, there are extensive sources of mineral deposits, primarily oil. While in the town of Mossul, which is administered by central government, a war rages and bomb attacks along with kidnaps precluding any kind of entrepreneurial activity are fixed daily routine, the Baba Gourgour deposit in Kirkuk stretching from Tadjila in Kirkuk to Debaga, situated in the surrounds of the capital of the autonomous Kurdish province Irbil, is the fifth largest oil deposit in the world. There are also many earth gas deposits and coal mines in the region of Kirkuk. In addition to this, several oil pipelines lead from Kirkuk to Dortul in Turkey, Banyas in Syria, Tripolis in Lebanon and Jaffa in Israel although the operation of the Kirkuk – Jaffa oil pipeline was terminated after the Arab-Israeli war in 1948. Only by means of the access to these deposits and high-capacity oil pipelines could the autonomous government put its plan to practice, i.e. to produce million barrels of oil a day.
And that’s the reason why the Kurdish politicians request in the parliament the attachment of the town of Kirkuk to their autonomous province after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Owing to this request they have to face a constant resistance of the other coalition party, namely the Shiite Supreme Iraqi Islam Council.
So that it is possible to attach Kirkuk to Kurdistan, according to the Iraqi constitution, first of all, a census determining the ethnicity of 1.3 million citizens of Kirkuk must be carried out, subsequently, a referendum is to be held in the end of December. The assigned preliminary date is 31st December.
Kurdish leaders have always highlighted the intention to utilise mineral wealth in their territory. Recently, they have taken concrete measures. The autonomous Kurdish government passed the Oil and Gas Act in August. It has made fifteen deposits available to mining companies ever since. At the beginning of November, the autonomous government signed next seven contracts to extract oil even despite the disapproval of the Central Government in Baghdad which was unwilling to observe the weakening of its influence on the development in Kurdistan. The Iraqi Oil Minister Hussein Shahristani deemed the November contract illegal and declared it null and void. He set the conditions for the export of oil according to which contracts must be signed between the mining companies (2) and the Central Government in Baghdad, otherwise the companies are deprived of the possibility to operate in Iraq. In response to this provision the Kurdish representatives recommended to wait till the Central Competence Act on Oil is passed which has been discussed in the Iraqi Parliament for several months. The Kurds as well as the US struggle for its pushing through in the original form, because thus it would decentralise the decision-making process and shift lots of competence to regions. In this way the Iraqi mining industry, which was nationalised in the 1970’s, would be opened to foreign companies. Moreover, the act further modifies the current proportional division of income from oil sale in favour of oil producing provinces. The act grants the foreign investors certain minimal export income which should guarantee the return on investments. These, however, are minimal since Iraqi oil is generally considered one of the world’s easiest to extract.
The ultimate form of the act and the referendum on Kirkuk will be the key factors as to the development of the Kurdish autonomous province, the Iraq itself as well as the situation in the whole of region. It is exactly the Kirkuk question and an act, which would attract as many foreign investors as possible, that represent the priorities of the Kurdish Autonomous Government. They are pretty aware of the fact that as a separate state they would be politically isolated by their neighbours, whereas in terms of federative Iraq they are internationally accepted and protected against possible attacks. Unless the federation becomes disadvantageous for them (which cannot happen until the next Iraqi elections and the conduct of radical changes within the central government), the establishment of an independent state will be postponed. The primary goal of the Kurds is to strengthen their status just in case.
The attitude of Turkey
Since the Gulf War, Ankara has been concerned that Kurdish autonomy in the north of Iraq will encourage separatist moods among the Kurds in Turkish territory. Those represent approximately 15 to 20 per cent of inhabitants and live in nearly one third of the territory. The east of the country lived in by the Kurds is the driving force of the islamisation and simultaneously the less developed region has always been the impediment to the development of Turkey, therefore it has tried to integrate them into society, even in a violent way, since the era of Mustafa Kemal Attatürk. In accordance with the Turkish constitution from 1937 “everyone who lives in the Turkish territory is a Turk… and should be proud of it” (3). Thus for a long time, the word Kurd was banned in Turkey and the Kurds were labelled as “mountain Turks” and as such they were not allowed to have own rights in the fields of culture and language. They were deprived of them, for instance, by putting unusually strict limit of ten per cent on the parliament entry, although officially just 10.5 per cent of inhabitants profess to be Kurds in Turkey. This, however, partially turned against Ankara and lead to several shadow organisations fighting for Kurdish independence including PKK which was added to the list of terrorist organisations by the European Union and the United States. In 1984, its radical wing TAK commenced an armed fight for the independence of the Kurdish south-east of Turkey. This fight has claimed more than 37 000 victims so far. In the end of 1990’s after the imprisonment of the founder of the organisation Abdullah Öcalan, the Kurdish initiative palled a little bit, anyway, it has become more intensive in the recent months.
Nonetheless, the majority of Turkish Kurds do not support the separatist ambitions of PKK. PKK’s direct interest is not to establish a united Kurdish state like it uses to maintain. In the course of recent years, the integrated Kurds have obtained more rights in Turkey an after the last parliamentary elections, twenty deputies represent the Kurdish minority in Turkish parliament. In an opinion poll conducted by an independent institute for strategic and social studies MatroPOLL in October 2007 most of Turkish Kurds, namely up to 95 per cent, said that they preferred to stay in Turkey in the case of the establishment of an independent Kurdish state. The Kurds are lucky that the government is composed right of Islamists from Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party and not of ultranationalist Nationalist Action Party (MPH) or Republican People’s Party (CHP) subscribing to the legacy of Mustafa Kemal who used to build Turkish statehood by means of radical oppression of Kurdish and Armenian rights as well as the strengthening of Turkish nationalism.
The AKP election win meant a chance to improve the status of the Kurds, as the new constitution was supposed to grant them grater autonomy and allow the Kurdish language to be a language of instruction. The question remains whether after the recent Kurdish actions, these changes will really be confirmed in the constitution. Namely, these moderate reforms are not a result of any sudden change of mind of Turkish politicians. It was not until the European Union begun to exert pressure that they were carried off. The Kurds see in the EU its redeemer just for it policy on minorities. In the case of Turkey not joining the EU due to any reason, the government would gladly and quickly abandon the reform path.
Moreover, Turkish regional interests are completely different from the interests of western or Scandinavian EU members. Logically, this means that also their stance on the situation in the region has to be different. In this context, before the War on Iraq, Turkey strongly opposed any kind of attempts to federalise Iraq and it also failed to gain the US consent to send its troops into the Iraqi part of Kurdistan. In 1995, Turkish media even labelled Iraqi Kurdistan as “a historical Turkish territory” and asked for the alteration of borders so that apart from Iraqi Kurdistan also the rich Kirkuk oil fields were attached to Turkey. That’s why a question arises as regards the current military operation, namely if the fight against PKK is just a pretext and if Turkey will have the propensity to solve more problems and interests concurrently. Turkey does not have oil, but if it assumed control of Iraqi oil fields this country of 70 million inhabitants and more than 500,000 strong army would become a mighty power which would easily restore the traditional Turkish influence in the Middle East, Central Asia, Caucasus and the Balkans. Iraqi oil resources are a strong temptation for Turkey that isn’t to be ignored. The geopolitical stability of this region is fragile and its political culture knows neither compromise nor mutual concessions.
The most powerful takes it all
It was as early as 1995 and 1997 that the Turks struck in Iraq. The present government in Ankara is in double pliers, as it were. On the one hand it faces the international pressure of the United States and the European Union as well as the concern that if the action fails the Iraqi Kurdistan will become a second Turkish Cyprus. On the other hand the Government headed by the PM Erdogan has found itself under a severe pressure of Turkish army and Turkish public opinion since 51 per cent of citizens are for a military operation in Iraq and 32.3 per cent even wish not only the PKK to be a target, but also the Kurdish leaders who uphold it. The Turks demand from the Government to send troops across the borders even at the cost of stirring up dissension in terms of the relation with the US. Since September, the people have perceived rather sensitively the news of Turkish soldiers killed. The Government has simply to do something in order to settle public opinion, particularly under the pressure of the army which is in conflict with it as to the policy and which would take an advantage of any kind of weakness presenting it as an incompetence of the current leadership. The 500,000 strong army has a tremendously strong position in Turkey as a country with long military tradition of protecting national interests: it has the veto power during the passing of every budget in the parliament. One has to point out that it is the first to submit draft budget. None of the deputies dares to reject it for fear of being accused of treason. A large part of the army, militia, police troops and functionaries in the regions inhabited by the Kurds, arms and drug dealers – in reality, all of them are interested to proceed in the conflict and thus strengthen their predominance in the country.
During summer months, the Turkish army deployed over 100,000 soldiers along the 380 km long Iraqi-Anatolian border. Nowadays, the number amounts to 140,000 according to official information by the General Staff of Turkish Armed Forces (4). On 17th October, the Turkish parliament endorsed possible cross-border invasion in Iraq by 507 votes against 19 votes. In the pursuit of discouraging Turkey from a military intervention, the US as well as Iraq committed themselves to take resolute measures against Turkish rebels. In September, Turkey signed a treaty with Iraq on the fight against terrorism, nevertheless, under the pressure of the representatives of autonomous Kurdish region, Baghdad refused point-blank the demand to launch an offensive in Iraq. On that occasion the spokesperson of the Autonomous Government Djamal Abdullah distanced himself from PKK and stated that it was an internal problem of Turkey. He at the same time warned that possible Turkish intervention would mean a breach in the international law. “We won’t let ourselves involve in the war between PKK and Turkey, but if they attack the area of Kurdistan, will protect our citizens,” added the Kurdish leader Masud Barzani. That time it was supposed yet that Ankara only wants to scare the Autonomous Government and bring it to cooperation and not that it dares to take concrete steps under the influence of Washington and Brussels. That’s why Barzani didn’t avoid even aggressive statements. By defying Turkish threats and the tacit unofficial support of PKK he wanted to show that he is the leader of all Kurds in the region. He pushed through his position also as to the relations with Turkey announcing to Ankara through the media: “Do not try to hinder my independence. Leave Kirkuk with me and I will erase PKK from the region.” The option that the Iraqi Kurdistan will become an independent state and that it will gain oil fields in Kirkuk is unacceptable for Ankara. Such a state would be a concentrated centre of terrorists from PKK according to it. However, Ankara knows that even the potential repulsion of rebels from Kurdish Kandila Mountains won’t stop the assassinations. PKK as one of many participants of this conflict is therefore just a pretext pushed in the foreground. The organisation itself obviously tries to get as much as possible of it, however, their ambitions are solely a small part of a much bigger game.
In this context it is intriguing to observe the twist in Turkish thinking. On 20th November, the PM Erdogan maintained that the risk of an invasion into Iraq had decreased after the Iraqi PM Nuri Malikí pledged ceremonially that he wouldn’t allow PKK to use Iraqi territory for the attacks against such an important neighbour like Turkey and presented the measures taken. Although Erdogan reserved the right for Turkish forces to utilise their mandate in the right time and said that he would strengthen the troops deployed in Iraqi border area if necessary (5), the observers surmised that the situation had settled and that the statements were intended for domestic Turkish audience rather than Kurdish representatives (6). Their opinion was supported on 27th November by the launch of an amnesty campaign for the PKK members who would voluntarily lay down their weapons and leave the organisation. In the Kandil Mountains, Turkish helicopters dropped thousands of leaflets depicting a terrorist in a clinch with Turkish commando or saying “Make a decision and leave the organisation. Surrender to the nearest troop or at a police station. You will be warmly welcomed.” The more surprising was the decision made by the Turkish Government and the President on 28th November voicing a clear agreement with the cross-border offensive. The alleged subsequent attack was made on 1st December.
According to diplomats the possibility of a massive offensive in the north of Iraq is not topical, but similar operations in air with the employment of crack paratroops is to be expected for the foreseeable future. The veterans of the fight of the Iraqi Kurds against Saddam Hussein regime proclaimed that Turkish army would suffer a defeat if it attacked PKK insurgents hiding in the Kandil Mountains in the border area, particularly with the onset of winter as one of the decisive factor (7). Turkish army is likely to limit its cross-border operations to raids and assaults of a smaller extent and to air strikes on exactly defined targets, but it won’t seek to spark a military conflict with Iraq through which it would incense the US as well as the EU. In relation to autonomous Kurdish government, Turkey will probably rather impose economic sanctions, for example, the closure of the primary border crossing between both countries through which flows the majority of consumer goods, or the electricity supplies cut-off in northern Iraqi provinces.
The stance of other parties involved
Syria is the epitome illustrating the complexity of the Kurdish issue. At present, the situation of the Kurds looks the worst probably right in Syria. They have neither nationality nor documents on the basis of which they could work or leave abroad. As for their number, they comprise one of the strongest minorities in Syria, but in fact they are unequal citizens of their country. Although Damask has rejected any rights of around half a million Kurds living in Syria, it used to support very fiercely the Kurdistan Workers Party in the 1980’s. The fact that the PKK military power shrunk at the end of the 1990’s was the result of the restriction of Syrian aid to this party owing to the pressure exerted by Turkey. In regard with the present conflict the current Syrian President Bashar al Assad has clearly taken Turkish part (8).
Similarly to Syria, Iran is one of the severest objectors of Kurdish independence. Iran is the country which always used to uphold the Kurdish separatism in Iraq an in which the Kurds are ethnically the closest to the majority of population. Anyway, also Iranian Kurds were inspired by the development in Iraq. They claim more and more rights from Teheran, which resulted in brutal clashes with the regime in 2004 and 2005. The equally numerous Iranian minority of Azers could be inspired by the possible success of Iranian Kurds and thus join Azerbaijan. Iran would lose western territories. This would encourage many ethnic minorities in the Russian Federation, China and India and destabilise in this way the already rather fragile geopolitical situation in Asia. Iran itself has fewer options how to forestall independent Iraqi Kurdistan in comparison to Turkey. The United States along with its allies would not tolerate a military intervention of Teheran. In the potential conflict between Turkey and Iraq, Iran’s attitude would probably depend on the fact whose part the US would take. Iran’s stance is likely to be contrary.
The European Union has given Turkey notice via its High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana that Europe is unequivocally against any Turkish large operation in Iraq.
The traditional and key ally of Turkey, the US, appeals to Ankara to temper like was the case, for instance, during the meeting of the PM Erdogan with the US President George Bush on 5th November in Washington (9). Washington dreads that this operation will destabilise the most sedate part of Iraq, damage the US endeavour to limit the violence in other parts of the country and endanger oil supplies. On the contrary, the US doesn’t wish the establishment of independent Kurdistan either. After the toppling of Hussein’s regime, they wanted to form an Iraqi federal state which would have then become a breeding ground for democracy in the Middle East that is administered primarily by dictators and authoritarian monarchs. The part of this federation should have been also the Iraqi Kurdistan. The plan went awry a little bit and the centre of the country, which was supposed to become the propagator of the US democracy model, is disturbed by perpetual waves of violence and terror. On one level the independent Kurdistan leaded by pro-western leaders, who thank for their popularity to the US (and are pretty aware of this fact) and welcome foreign investors with open arms, would be doubtlessly a less problematic supplier of black gold for the US, but on other level the US would thus venture the interruption of the links with Ankara. From the historical point of view these are on the lowest level after the US Congress passed the resolution denouncing Turkish genocide committed on the Armenians. The White House wants to avoid such a scenario. 70 per cent of the stream of supplies for the US army flows through the Icirilik air base in Turkey. Turkey enables US aircrafts to use its airspace which could prove itself strategic in the case of war against Iran in the future. Meanwhile, anti-American moods have been widely spread across Turkey. Ankara argues that it fights against terrorism and is intent on its right to take control over northern Iraq due to national security. By the way, this was the main ground by means of which the President George W. Bush justified the US invasion in Iraq.
It is very hard to determine what will be under way in the Middle East in the short term, not to speak of the long one. In order to change the borders, either towards the establishment of independent Kurdish state, or its engulfment and transposition from Iraq to Turkey, a severe conflict must be unleashed. The current equation, however, contains several unknowns the most important ones of which are, considering the problem solution process, the real interests of Turkey and the reaction of Iraqi Kurds to military interventions in its territory. Moreover, we cannot forget about the development of other variables.
(2) Among the companies are: OMV Aktiengesellschaft, MOL Hungarian Oil and Gas, PLC, Gulf Keystone Petroleum International Ltd, Kalegran Ltd, Reliance Energy Ltd or their branches.
(3) According to the Article 4 of the Constitution of the Republic of Turkey written in 1937 „Everyone who lives in the Turkish territory is a Turk”. In terms of the step-up of national awareness Kemal often stated in his speeches„ proud are those who can call themselves Turks.” See: http://www.diploweb.com/forum/dorinkurdes.htm
(5) Turkish daily news, 20/11/2007
(6) See, for example, Phiquepal, Marie: A propos d’une intervention en Irak du Nord. Observatoire de la Vie Politique Turque (OVIPOT), 30/10/2007http://ovipot.blogspot.com/2007/10/propos-dune-intervention-
en-irak-du.html; Bremmer, Ian: Why Turkey’s Army Will Stay Home. Project Syndicate, 25/10/ 2007. http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/bremmer9
(7) Adíb Kava, a former member of Kurdish militia Peshmerga fighting against Saddam Hussein, nowadays, local politician in the nort-Iraqi town of Ranija. SITA, 8/11/2007
(8) Syrian President Bashar al-Assad backs Turkey over Kurds. Daily Times, 18/ 10/ 2007 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007%5C10%5C18%5
Cstory_18-10-2007_pg4_9; Phiquepal, Marie: A propos d’une intervention en Irak du Nord. Observatoire de la Vie Politique Turque (OVIPOT), 30/10/2007 http://ovipot.blogspot.com/2007/10/propos-dune-intervention-en-irak-du.html
(9) Margolis, Eric: The Thundeer of Turkish War Drums. http://www.ericmargolis.com/archives/2007/10/the_thunder_of.php, 29. 10. 2007; Le premier ministre turc ne renonce pas à une offensive contre le PKK, Le Monde.fr, 6/11/2007