The Turkish publication Today's Zaman reported October 24, 2007, that "NATO allies Turkey and the US [United States] have almost simultaneously signaled that a joint US-Turkish strike against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) based in northern Iraq could soon be placed on the agenda." See "Turkey and US bring up potential for joint action."
On the other hand, The Christian Science Monitor notes in an October 24, 2007, dispatch from Istanbul, Turkey, headlined "Why Turkey is wary of Kurdish rebel trap."
As Turkey sends military convoys to its southeast border with Iraq, diplomatic efforts are intensifying to head off a cross-border incursion aimed at crushing the separatist Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
On Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan traveled to Baghdad and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was in London to increase pressure on US and Iraqi forces in northern Iraq to halt a surge of attacks that peaked Sunday with the most lethal guerrilla strike in a decade. Twelve soldiers were killed and eight went missing.
The Turkish publication Sabah said the Turkish delegation "communicated Turkey's six demands regarding fight against the terrorist organization. Babacan asked for prevention of PKK's use of Iraqi land, halting logistic assistance to the organization, stopping PKK's activities, limiting its movement capacity and land, arresting the PKK leaders and submitting them to Turkey and closing PKK camps," the publication said. See "Six ultimatums for Iraq."
The Independent of London's Patrick Cockburn, writing October 24, 2007, from Arbil, northern Iraq, notes that, "The Iraqi government said it would shut down operations of the Kurdish guerrillas from Turkey based on its soil in order to avert the invasion of Iraq by the Turkish Army. But it is doubtful if the Baghdad government is capable of expelling the rebels from hide-outs in the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan," Mr. Cockburn writes. See "Baghdad may be unable to stop attacks by PKK fighters."
Sabrina Tavernise of the New York Times News Service reported October 23, 2007, that the PKK "said in the statement yesterday [October 22, 2007] that it was willing to stop fighting." See "Kurdish militants reportedly open to cease-fire."
"We extend the hand of peace once again," said the statement, posted on the website of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, the political party of Iraq's president, Jalal Talabani, who is a Kurd," Ms. Tavernise reported.
She said, "The site gave as its source the Firat News Agency, an online service that often carries statements from the Kurdistan Workers' Party."
"We are ready to discuss the issue," the statement said, according to The Times report.
Meanwhile, the Jewish Telegraph Agency (JTA) says, "Turkey's recent threats to invade Kurdish areas of northern Iraq in retaliation for rebel attacks on its border troops have thrown a spotlight on Israeli ties to the Kurds." See "Israel reassures Turkey over Kurds.
"Since the Saddam Hussein regime was overthrown in 2003, there have been high-profile reports of Israeli sponsorship of Iraqi Kurdish forces, either in the form of private military training or as an intelligence proxy for monitoring nearby Iran," JTA reported October 23, 2007.
"But Israel, which has carefully cultivated defense and trade relations with Turkey, denies that it supports Kurds fighting Ankara's rule from Iraqi bases. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was scheduled to meet his Turkish counterpart, Tayyip Erdogan, in London on Tuesday [October 23, 2007] to discuss the issue."
According to an October 23, 2007, report in Today's Zaman, "Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will bring the issue of Israeli experts' training of military forces in the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq to the agenda in his talks with his Israeli counterpart, Ehud Olmert, scheduled to take place today in the British capital." See "PM Erdoğan to press Olmert to give up supporting Iraqi Kurds."