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Turkish Peace Movement Claim Victory Following No-War Vote; Meanwhile the Kurdish Population in Northern Iraq Prepares for a Turkish Invasion

March 04, 2003
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The Turkish Parliament stunned Washington on Friday by voting against a resolution that would have allowed tens of thousands of US troops to use the country as a base for an attack on Iraq.

The US was so sure of victory that the military had already begun unloading equipment at Turkish ports. Two dozen US military vessels are still idling off the coast.

But US and Turkish officials said yesterday a second vote in the Turkish parliament could take place as soon as next week on whether to allow American troops to use Turkish bases for a second front against Iraq

Yesterday I talked to Turkish peace activist Mu-gay Sokmen. I asked her what role the peace movement played in the Turkish vote.

  • Muge Sokmen, member of the Peace Initiative of Turkey

Despite the vote Turkey is expected to continue to seek permission to put tens of thousands of troops into Kurdish-controlled Northern Iraq.

The Washington Post reports today that Kurdish authorities are girding for this possible Turkish intervention in Iraq by deploying militiamen to key areas of northern Iraq and setting conditions for acceptance of any troops from Turkey in their region.

Thousands demonstrated yesterday in the city of Irbil against the possible entrance of Turkish forces into their region. They carried signs with such slogans as "Down With Turkey, Up With the United States" and "No to Turkey."

The Kurds fear that Turkey, by intervening militarily in northern Iraq, will seek to join the United States as an arbiter of the Kurds’ political future. Kurds have established an autonomous zone in northern Iraq under the protection of U.S. and British.

We will talk now with Kani Xulam, director of the American Kurdish Information Network

  • Kani Xulam, director of the American Kurdish Information Network.

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