Ecevit: Kurds dragging Turkey into war

So I posted the constitutions last night along with my thoughts that the Kurds are asking for trouble, and wouldn’t you know it? Today, the Guardian runs this. It’s more of that growling that I mentioned in my previous post, but what’s most alarming about this is Turkey’s charges that the United States is directing the Kurds: “It is beyond encouragement, (Washington) is directing them,” said Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit.

Wow. I posted the proposed Kurdish and i constitutions last night—and my thoughts that the are asking for trouble—and wouldn’t you know it? Today, the Guardian runs this. It’s more of that growling that I mentioned in my previous post, but what’s most alarming about this is ’s charges that the United States is directing the : “It is beyond encouragement, (Washington) is directing them,” Prime Minister Bulent told the Turkish paper Milliyet. “We will talk to the United States.”

If the United States is directing the and the , that would amount to a stunning reversal against , one of our most loyal allies in the region. I don’t think that we are, frankly, and these comments are likely playing to ’s nationalist base of support, which often views the U.S. with suspicion. (They still harbor resentments over Cyprus form 1964 and 1974.)

The United States needs more than it needs the , sadly, as the have only about 80,000 lightly armed peshmergas while the Turks have tanks and F-16s (bought from the United States, of course.) They’re also a NATO ally and Incirlik is a necessary base for running sorties in the northern no-fly zone.

But beyond that is valuable to the United States in that it provides a “good example” of democracy and Islam, serving as an effective ideological counterweight to Iran. It also has close ties to the Turkish-speaking peoples of central Asia and their energy reserves.

This is why the United States has been such a proponent of ’s ascension to the European Union. America’s support is a complex web of self-interest (keeping a strong, democratic Muslim nation tied to the West) and pay-back (see military alliance above.) It’s also why the of southeast both admire and resent the United States. They admire it for its stance on the -EU issue, and they see membership as the key to economic recovery in that depressed region. They resent America because it was very very supportive of ’s war against the PKK’s terror campaign (which remembered when Sept. 11, 2001 happened.)

So, again, I’m not sure what would happen if ’s attain some form of independence. That would almost certainly drive the Turks to war in i Kurdistan, and what then would the Americans do? This may turn out to be a bigger question than who rules the day after Saddam…