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Monday, August 28, 2006

Two Days of Bombings Rock Turkey

Turkish resorts have been bombed for two consecutive days now. Here are two reports on the incidents, one from Turkish media and one from Kurdish media. (Compare the last paragraphs of each of these articles to illustrate how these groups feel about each other.)

No group has taken responsibility as of yet. However, it is assumed that the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) is responsible.

This continues to stoke tensions between Turkey and Iraqi Kurdistan, where many PKK members are located. (For more background see here.)

There may be a drastic change in Turkey's response to PKK aggression both from inside and outside Turkey because on Tuesday the Turkish Armed Forces will have a new Chief of Staff, a hard liner who may try to increase the intensity of the response. This co-incides with the US naming a State Department co-ordinator to deal with the PKK/Turkey issue.

Turkey remains skeptical and if they don't see results soon (especially in light of these recent bombings) they may follow Iran's lead and start attacking Northern Iraq. This would further destabilize Iraqi Kurdistan (following attacks in Kirkuk) and, by extension, Iraq as a whole.

Update: Juan Cole has an update this morning:
"Meanwhile, bombings rocked Turkey on Monday. A radical Kurdish group claimed credit, indicating it was trying to sabotage one of Turkey's major industry's, tourism.

The bombings are encouraging Turkey to step up its shelling of northern Iraq, where US-backed Kurdish politicians are harboring the terrorist PKK or Kurdish Workers' Party.

Bombings stretched from Istanbul to southern Iraq on Monday, in a new arc of crisis. This isn't going very well."

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