The guerrillas of the Kurdistan Workers Party (or PKK, the title has been recently changed to the Party of national freedom), which are referred to as terrorists on the part of the Turkish government, fell back into the shadow. After their leader Abdullah Ocalan was arrested on February 16, 1999, there were massive actions of the Kurds all over Europe, who wanted their leader to be released. Several people even committed self-immolation acts.
The situation settled down after a certain period of time and PKK started going into the background. A lot of observers believe that this organization has stopped its existence. Their leader is in prison and it is so good that he has not been executed.
But as it turned out, PKK is still live and kicking, it is even ready to act something out again. After the news about the new title of the organization, the leaders of the Kurds claimed that they were still ready to struggle with Turkey. Moreover, they repeatedly demanded Ocalan should be released.
The Turkish special services informed several days after that one of the PKK leaders, Jemil Bayik carried $1.4 million in cash via the territory of northern Iraq, which was also populated by the Kurds, by the way. Bayik transferred this money to Iran, and Turkey asked the Iranian government to deliver that person. But the Turkish special services discovered other channels, which were used for backing up the Kurds guerrillas. According to their information, the American tobacco companies were maintaining the links with PKK, which was rendering its assistance to sell the smuggling cigarettes. Turkey believes that the USA was turning a blind eye on smuggling the tobacco production for the sake of its profit, and that is why it was helping terrorist organizations like PKK to prosper.
There is a share of truth in this assertion. However, if the USA really supports someone, then this is not the Kurdistan Workers Party, but their brethren in northern Iraq, which can act as a supporting force during the operation against Saddam Hussein’s regime. It is an open secret that the USA counts on the Iraqi Kurds. But there is another curious detail. There has been the longstanding rivalry between the organizations of the Turkish and Iraqi Kurds, which was gradually heated up by Washington. PKK, by the way, put the USA on the list of terrorist organizations, and the Iraqi Kurds leaders’ groups are not on that list. If the Turkish special services are right, then it happens so that Americans re-considered their relations with PKK for the sake their goals in Iraq; of course, this is hidden from the public eye. So, Ankara and Washington will have to explain a lot to each other. One may assume that the veiled report from the Turkish special services expressed the discontent of the Turkish government with the USA’s plans to strike a blow on Iraq. However, the army bases, from which the American aircraft are going to bomb Iraq, are located on Turkey’s territory. Therefore, Washington will have to say something back to Turkey’s claims. We wonder, what the White House will make up this time.
Oleg Artyukov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Dmitry Sudakov
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