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2003-10-14 Iraq
Explosion Rocks Turkish Embassy in Iraq
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Posted by Steve 2003-10-14 8:36:29 AM|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [840 views since 2007-05-07]  Top

#1 Seems that 2 assailants died and two embassy personel (guards?) got wounded, some windows smashed and a part of the surrounding security wall had collapsed, no major damage.
Posted by Murat 2003-10-14 9:05:16 AM||   2003-10-14 9:05:16 AM|| Front Page Top

#2 Update: A suicide bomber detonated a car packed with explosives at the gates of the Turkish Embassy on Tuesday, killing at least one person and wounding two or three others, witnesses and U.S. soldiers said. The car tried to ram through the gates of the embassy in the Iraqi capital in the mid-afternoon and suddenly exploded, witnesses said. U.S. troops and Iraqi police sealed off the area and would not permit journalists and others to approach the building.
Turkish NTV television said two embassy employees were hurt. In Ankara, a Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman strongly condemned the attack and said the incident shows "how grave the security situation in Iraq is" and "how strong the need is for everyone to immediately contribute to ensure security and stability in the country." Iraqis fear that neighboring Turkey seeks to dominate or grab territory in their country, or that the deployment will cause friction with Kurds in northern Iraq. On Tuesday, radical Shiite Muslim cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said there would be no difference between Turkish soldiers and members of the U.S.-led force, which he wants to leave the country.
Posted by Steve  2003-10-14 9:06:37 AM||   2003-10-14 9:06:37 AM|| Front Page Top

#3 I'm now inclined to let the Turks patrol Sadr city without media minders...
Posted by Frank G  2003-10-14 10:20:35 AM||   2003-10-14 10:20:35 AM|| Front Page Top

#4 Stratfor Report... Apologies for length...
Shared Control: The Price for Turkish Troops in Iraq
Oct 13, 2003

Following tough negotiations on a Turkish deployment to Iraq, it
appears likely that Ankara will join Washington in exercising
control over the occupied country. Though this will not halt
attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq, it could aid the United States in
attempts to gradually extricate itself from the main burden of
fending off the guerrilla war.


Under pressure from the government and despite significant public
opposition, the Turkish Parliament recently passed a motion in
favor of sending troops to Iraq. Ankara now has a green light to
negotiate with the U.S.-led coalition authority on conditions for
the deployment -- initially planned for about 10,000 troops. U.S.
and Turkish officials likely will begin talks on the details in
the coming days; officials in Ankara say the negotiations could
take up to two weeks, according to the Turkish Daily News.

In the weeks leading up to the U.S. attack against Iraq, Turkey
refused to send troops into the conflict or to allow U.S. forces
to use its soil as a staging point. So what has caused the policy
reversal? This analysis, drawing on the statements of Stratfor
sources within the Turkish government as well as from the public
statements of U.S. and Turkish leaders, will examine that
question, as well as what Ankara seeks from Washington in
exchange, and how the negotiations might end.

Turkey: At Geopolitical Crossroads

These are fascinating days for Turkish decision-makers: Since the
Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power
late last year, the nation has been in the process of reinventing
its geopolitical course and priorities. And when a nation is at a
crossroads, it can take any -- even the most unexpected -- path
if that is best suited to its national interests.

The last such instance for Turkey came after World War I, when
Kemal Ataturk founded the modern state. Forging a geopolitical
direction, however, took several years: First, Ataturk turned
against entente -- the alliance of Western powers to which the
United States belonged -- and defeated British-Greek intervention
between 1919 and 1922 with some military help from another
fledgling state, Soviet Russia. However, Ankara later formed a
long-lasting association with the West -- first with Germany and,
since the end of World War II, the United States.

Ankara is now re-examining its path again. What distinguishes
this Turkey from that which existed until the end of last year,
however, is that the current government no longer is restricted
to the role of junior ally in its relationship with foreign
powers. Ankara feels the time has come for Turkey to follow a
course defined by its own national interests, regardless of how
that fits with or detracts from the goals of other powers.

Thus it was that Ankara denied Washington permission to base
combat forces on Turkish territory in March: The government did
not see such a move as benefiting national interests. But seven
months later, the situation has changed. Officials in Ankara
realize that, for all the risks involved, it would be better for
Turkey to intervene militarily in Iraq than to continue bowing
out. Ironically, as it strikes a more independent geopolitical
stance, the new government is finding it beneficial to again
drift closer to Washington.

Turkish Forces in Iraq: What's at Stake

Several major national interests make it imperative for Ankara to
intervene militarily in Iraq on the side of the United States --
and foremost among these is to ensure that nothing can threaten
Turkey from the south. From the Turkish perspective, this
requires several steps.

First, officials in Ankara believe, the new government in Baghdad
should be either pro-Turkey or at least friendly toward Turkey.
This means the Turkish government should exert some influence in
Baghdad -- something that would be easier to do if its troops
were deployed in significant numbers to Iraq. Ankara fully
understands that the United States intends to wield controlling
influence in Iraq for years to come -- and this will be no
problem for Ankara if Washington agrees to give it "second in
command" status.

Second, Turkish leaders fear that Iran could become a dominant
power in Iraq or share that role as the main ally of the United
States. In either case, this would exclude Turkish influence:
Turkey and Iran have struggled over what is now Iraq for
centuries, including through bloody wars. It now appears that
Iran is better positioned to win this game, given its strong ties
with and influence over the Shiite majority in Iraq. To reverse
the odds, it seems Turkey must put troops on the ground in Iraq.

Third, Turkey feels it must resolve the Kurdish question. Though
Ankara limits this goal officially to the elimination of the PKK
guerrilla group (now known as KADEK) operating in southeastern
Turkey and northern Iraq, its larger strategic goal likely goes
much further than that. It appears Ankara seeks to weaken all
Kurdish militant forces in Iraq, by military defeat if necessary.
If Iraqi Kurds stand idly by while U.S. and Turkish units crush
KADEK units, Kurdish control of northern Iraq would be
diminished. However, if Iraqi Kurds intervene and launch attacks
against Turkish troops as they have threatened, Ankara would have
an opening to wage a military campaign against all Kurdish
militants in Iraq. Moreover, it is almost certain that U.S.
troops would intervene on the Turks' behalf -- which would play
nicely into Ankara's hand.

Fourth, Ankara wants a share of the energy wealth found in
northern Iraq, including obtaining a major say for Turkish
companies in the country's energy sector. Again, putting troops
on the ground will aid this endeavor. Though Turkish troops
initially would be deployed outside Kirkuk and other northern oil
fields, Ankara possibly could expand its military presence on the
pretext of escalating violence.

Fifth, Turkey needs to strengthen itself economically and
militarily to meet its geopolitical goals in Iraq and elsewhere.
If Ankara sends troops to Iraq, lawmakers reason, Washington
might return the favor in the form of loans -- both from
Washington and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) -- as well
as military hardware.

Finally, being able to pursue its own agenda without alienating
the United States is certainly an attractive opportunity for
Ankara in Iraq, where officials believe -- likely correctly --
they can reinvigorate the erstwhile alliance by sending forces to
help relieve embattled U.S. forces.

Turkish troops almost inevitably would come under repeated
attacks in Iraq, but from Ankara's point of view, this strategy
might be less risky than standing idly by while other powers gain
influence over the country. Moreover, it appears to us that
Turkish leaders, though speaking of the deployment as that of
peacekeeping forces, would not really mind if they become
embroiled in combat: The more Turkish soldiers are fighting in
Iraq, the better Ankara's chances for influencing future
developments in the country and region.

The Payoff: Ankara's Demands

In accordance with these goals, Ankara is laying out the
following negotiating points in its dialogue with Washington,
Turkish government sources tell Stratfor:

* Certain eradication of PKK/KADEK units and their infrastructure
in Iraq, either through U.S., Turkish or joint action.

* A U.S. guard for Turkish supply lines through Kurdish areas to
the Sunni Triangle. This would be in addition to an absolute
guarantee from Washington that the Kurds would never receive de
facto or de jure independence.

* Iraq should be a united state with a pro-U.S. and pro-Turkish
government, and the role of Turkomen in the Iraqi government
should be increased.

* Assurances or cooperation from Washington to ensure that power
will not be transferred to Iraqi Shiites as proxies of Iran, and
no role for Tehran in Iraq. Ankara will ask Washington to abandon
its strategy of relying on Iran and Iraqi Shiites as its main
ally against the Sunni resistance movement, arguing that Turkey
should fill that role.

* A slice of the Iraqi oil industry, second only to that of the
United States. In particular, Turkey should have a major say on
how Iraqi oil in the north is treated and where revenues go. By
the same token, Turkish firms should become major participants in
oil deals in the north.

* No role for Saudi Arabia and other Arab states in the future
Iraq -- a goal that Ankara believes Washington seeks itself.

* More financial aid from the United States and IMF.

* New deliveries of large amounts of modern military hardware to
the Turkish army, at significant discounts.

* A green light for Turkish forces to combat and defeat Iraqi
Kurds if there are any attacks against Turkish supply lines in
northern Iraq. This is a non-negotiable point from Ankara's
position, sources tell Stratfor. If supply lines are attacked,
Turkish military control of Iraqi Kurdistan -- perhaps shared
with the U.S. military -- should be established, Ankara is likely
to suggest.

* Turkish forces in Iraq should operate under Turkish command,
though it is possibly that Ankara will coordinate with the U.S.
command on counterinsurgency operations.

Though Ankara understands its demands are bold, it sees the
United States as desperate to get Turkish troops in Iraq,
believing that no one else -- not even a coalition cobbled
together from dozens of nations -- will really be able to aid
U.S. troops on the ground, given the inherent divisions between
goals and languages of participating countries and the Turks'
prior experience in the Iraqi climate and terrain. If Washington
accepts these conditions, Ankara will renew its full alliance
with the United States, but on a more equal footing than before.
In exchange, Ankara will fully commit itself to pacifying Iraq,
up to the point of completely but gradually taking over the
counterinsurgency war from Americans, thus releasing U.S. troops
for their force projection goals in Iraq. Basically, Turkish
forces would do all the fighting and U.S. forces would be
stationed in Iraq for strategic purposes. But this would be the
case only if Washington accedes to Turkey's demands.

Washington's Viewpoint: Turkey or U.N.?

Turkish negotiations with Washington over the Iraq deployment
will be difficult indeed. Washington has its own vision for Iraq,
and an overly strong (from its perspective) Turkish role and full
accession to Ankara's demands does not fully fit in. However, the
Bush administration is likely to agree to most of Turkey's
negotiating points, for several reasons.

For one thing, the time for Washington to decide how to defeat
the Iraqi resistance movement is rapidly running out, before U.S.
President George W. Bush's re-election chances diminish beyond
repair and before the financial costs of operations in Iraq
become economically unbearable. Who would be able and willing to
make a timely difference on the ground in Iraq? Surely not
Honduras. In Stratfor's mind, it appears that only the Turkish
army, which is strong in both numbers and training -- as well as
familiar with the war theater and local guerrillas' tactics -- is
a viable option.

That would require much more than the initial 10,000-strong
deployment -- but the Turkish General Staff has a follow-on plan
to rapidly expand its military presence in Iraq. The end goal
also would require significant and continued human sacrifices,
but the tolerance among the Turkish army and public for these are
higher than those of Americans.

Another reason Washington is likely to accept most of Ankara's
demands is that a Turkish deployment would largely extricate
American forces from the war, allowing them to serve the goal
they came to Iraq with in the first place: To project force
against other countries in the region that are deemed to be
potential U.S. foes, such as Syria, Saudi Arabia or Iran.

Moreover, if Washington makes a deal with Ankara quickly, the
United States would stand a chance of outmaneuvering its
opposition within the U.N. Security Council over Iraq: With a
massive deployment of skilled Turkish soldiers on the ground,
Washington could simply cancel its draft resolution requesting
U.N. authorization for foreign troops. This would keep the Bush
administration from having to cede control over Iraq to the
United Nations -- though that control would have to be shared
with Ankara.

It would seem that in Washington's eyes, this is the lesser evil.

Posted by .com 2003-10-14 11:14:20 AM||   2003-10-14 11:14:20 AM|| Front Page Top

#5 Damn. If you'll delete this response, I'll clean out the excess breaks and resubmit. Important content, I think.
Posted by .com 2003-10-14 11:26:09 AM||   2003-10-14 11:26:09 AM|| Front Page Top

#6 Though Ankara understands its demands are bold, it sees the United States as desperate to get Turkish troops in Iraq.

Same line of thinking caused didn't work well for them when they refused to allow our troops on their soil. Apparently, they plan to try the same logic this time.

If you ask me, this is a twice burned situation for both sides.
Posted by B 2003-10-14 11:40:03 AM||   2003-10-14 11:40:03 AM|| Front Page Top

#7 Hmmm. Ok, uh, um, please don't delete this! Ever! Deletion is so skeery! Please oh please don't throw me into the briar patch!
Posted by .com 2003-10-14 12:45:46 PM||   2003-10-14 12:45:46 PM|| Front Page Top

#8 They bombed a Islamic countries Embassy?! What ever happened to Brotherly Love!?
Posted by Anonymous 2003-10-14 1:12:36 PM||   2003-10-14 1:12:36 PM|| Front Page Top

#9 "They bombed a Islamic countries Embassy?"
This would be the second islamic embassy, the first big car bomb hit the Jordanian embassy, consulate, visa shop or whatever it was.
Posted by Steve  2003-10-14 1:22:45 PM||   2003-10-14 1:22:45 PM|| Front Page Top

#10 B,

As Murat can tell you, the Turks control the headwaters of the Tigris/Euphrates river system.
If the Marsh Arabs are to get their wetlands back to full bloom, we'll need their help.
Posted by Ernest Brown 2003-10-14 1:54:37 PM|| []  2003-10-14 1:54:37 PM|| Front Page Top

#11 the reason to avoid UN control is to avoid a UN lackey forcing ex-baathist types into the govt, and subverting the US goal of democratization and regional transformation. A strategy that, at turkish request not only forecloses Kurdish autonomy, but turns away from the Iraqi shiites, will essentially do the same thing. If the admin plays off the Turks against the UN thats one thing. If they give in to the Turks on all of the above demands out of pique at the UN, and focus on congruence of short term strategic interests with Turkey (against iran and Saudi, for example) we will be making a big long term mistake.
Posted by liberalhawk 2003-10-14 2:01:54 PM||   2003-10-14 2:01:54 PM|| Front Page Top

#12 Personally, I find this appalling. I dislike almost every word of it and am hoping beyond hope it doesn't pan out this way. It Sucks. After the guts to go and the guts to win, it really sucks to be gutless now - and to an unacceptable extent, IMHO, lose the peace. Fucking nitwit Sunni's. They will lose, sooner or later, one way or another, but they just had to be asshats. Sigh. The Kurds deserve much much better - and the Turks deserve a shit sandwich. I hope these smug StratFor Foggy Bottom refugees are wrong.
Posted by .com 2003-10-14 2:19:27 PM||   2003-10-14 2:19:27 PM|| Front Page Top

#13 Ernest...maybe so. But seems to me that all parties are willing to admit that the Turks are, once again, offering to cover our backs, with the expectation that once we allow them to do so, they will be in a much better position to stab us in it.

If this were the horses, both sides seem to be desperately betting on the long shots in an effort to make up for past losses. Never a good idea...IMHO.

As they say...when you make deals with the devil, expect to get burned.
Posted by B 2003-10-14 3:30:16 PM||   2003-10-14 3:30:16 PM|| Front Page Top

#14 dot com:

I agree, in essence. (I would be willing to give the Turks a tad more than that, including cooperation against the PKK, guarantees against Kurdish INDEPENDENCE, and maybe even toss in some control over the oil industry (better the Turks than the French:) but, NOT a centralized, sunni arab controlled state)

But THAT means we need a source of troops other than the Turks - at least to improve our bargaining position with the Turks. Now maybe we'll have enough locals trained, and things will be calm enough to just pull the 101st out in January, and pull the 4th ID out in the spring. Or maybe not. Army Reserve/NG is already hurting - do we really want to gut future recruitment for the Army NG/R? That means additional foreign troops other than Turks, and THAT means cutting a deal at - yes - the UNSC. I hope we're not giving away the store there, but I also hope we ARE negotiating seriously.
Posted by liberalhawk 2003-10-14 3:44:50 PM||   2003-10-14 3:44:50 PM|| Front Page Top

#15 Negotiating "seriously" with the Turks is meaningless as whenever it becomes inconvenient for them, they just don't honor it. How is that a deal?

Tapyip proved himself to be willing to make very bold, brinksmanship moves to advance his position at US expense. We all are aware and openly acknowledge that he is doing it again. I just don't understand the denial of the mess that is being created here.

Sure, you could say that paying a high price for a car is not such a bad deal if it is the only car for sale. But I think we need to keep in mind that no price is worth it if the car's got a 90% chance of blowing up in your face. This is not a good matter how bad we need it. Just like dealing with them the last time ended up being a bad matter how desperately we needed it.

There are no surprises here. We learned all we needed to know when they screwed us last time. Tapyip is bold enough to try again. Fooled us one..shame on them.
Posted by B 2003-10-14 4:50:51 PM||   2003-10-14 4:50:51 PM|| Front Page Top

#16 LH - I'm not sure what to call information like this... political chicanery and betrayal? It's certainly the gutless cynical choice of convenience over obligation that I feared and talked about here when this began. Fuck both the UN and Turkey. If this crap is true, well, it would be hard to make me feel more disgusted. The poor Kurds, not to mention our dishonored dead.
Posted by .com 2003-10-14 4:54:10 PM||   2003-10-14 4:54:10 PM|| Front Page Top

#17 well, if you ask me (not that anyone is), this is all just as pathetic as watching an abusive relationship.

I know he hit me before...but he won't do it again. He promised! Besides, he really didn't mean it the first time. I neeeeeed one else will have me. It will be different this time.

Posted by B 2003-10-14 6:28:40 PM||   2003-10-14 6:28:40 PM|| Front Page Top

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