Turkish people are quite sensitive and touchy about certain sig-nificant concepts, like military and militarism, Islam and Islamic prac-tices, religious laws, laicism, the Armenian issue and Turks killed by Armenians during World War I, family relations, martyrs and national dignity.
During the past few days, incidents have hit a number of these nerves as if to indicate planning, rather than mere coincidence. Terror-ists from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) ambushed Turkish troops in the Gabar Mountains and ruthlessly executed 15 wounded soldiers at point blank range. This attack engulfed the Turkish people in deep sorrow, as other attacks in the past have done. It has prompted the government to send a decree to the Turkish Parliament, perhaps as early as next week, right after the country’s religious holiday, authorizing the military to send troops to northern Iraq. The govern-ment is aware of the anger and sorrow that this inhuman attack caused and it is now under significant pressure to take action.
International relations and diplomacy wizard and former US Am-bassador to Turkey Morton Abramowitz, in his article titled “Cyprus Sabotage,” together with Dr. Henri J. Barkey of Lehigh University, has drawn an advisory picture for Turkey.
In this article, Abramowitz criticizes the attitude of the EU towards Turkey and Turkish Cypriots and the pressures exerted by the EU on Turkey to open up seaports and airports to Greek Cypriot-flagged vessels and planes, irrespective of previous guarantees of direct trade, financial aid and Green Line regulation, which have not yet been fulfilled due to the blockades of Greek Cypriots. Abramowitz also points out the weakness of the EU to exert pressure and intrude on the realistic amendments in the Annan plan to the Greek Cypriots.
The “what-to-do” list drawn up by Abramowitz is as follows:
Turkey should not open the air and sea ports to Greek Cypriot vessels and planes unless the embargoes imposed on the Turkish Cy-priots are lifted completely.
In the event the Greek Cypriots aren’t immediately interested in a sustainable solution to the Cyprus issue, Turkey should boost the Turkish Cypriot economy and start official contacts with Islamic coun-tries and other allies for diplomatic recognition of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC).
Last Wednesday night the US House of Representatives Commit-tee on Foreign Affairs passed a resolution in support of Armenian alle-gations of genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire, with 27 votes in favor and 21 opposed.
Of course, the results of this vote and the topic of the resolution multiplied the anger and hatred in the hearts of the Turkish people towards the US and its ally — the Kurdish administration in northern Iraq — which is perceived as giving full support to PKK terrorists in the northern territories of Iraq
Turkey’s relations with the United States have become increa-singly strained lately. This is primarily due to the US invasion of Iraq, US-Kurdish policy, American military equipment that has ended up in the hands of PKK terrorists, and this recent resolution backing Arme-nian allegations of genocide that is making its way through the US Congress.
These factors will push Turkey towards an invasion of the Kurdish area in northern Iraq. It is probable that a bloody fight will take place and that thousands of innocent civilians will lose their lives.
It is more likely that at the end of this scenario, that situation in northern Cyprus will be placed on one of side of a scale with the situa-tion in northern Iraq on the other. Turkey will be squeezed into a corner and forced to decide which issue is a higher priority