Turkish PM expects U.S. action against Kurds
Turkey expects the U.S. to act against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq but will take its own measures if it sees no results in the fight, the prime minister said. "We have expectations mainly from the U.S. more than Iraq. We want the coalition forces — mainly the U.S._ to take a step here," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in an interview with the private Kanal 24 TV channel late Friday.
"Our demands from them are known and we will see what happens in time," Erdogan said. "We will put into action our own road map if we do not get the results we want."
Erdogan said he hoped to reach a consensus with Washington regarding a possible military campaign into northern Iraq during his trip to the U.S. next month. "We want to get a result especially about this during my meetings on Nov. 5," Erdogan said. During the visit, Erdogan is to meet U.S. officials including President Bush.
Meanwhile, protesters in the northern Iraqi city of Zakho on Saturday accused Turkey of trying to foment unrest in the relatively peaceful autonomous region in northern Iraq. According to the AP, demonstrators waved the flag of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region and held up banners reading: "No, no to the Turkish military incursion. Yes, yes to peace and security," and "We will be a shield to defend our cities."
Hussein Khalid, the mayor of Zakho, some 300 miles northwest of Baghdad, estimated the crowd at about 15,000 people. "This demonstration represents the anger of the Kurdish community toward the green light that was given to Turkish government by the parliament to invade Kurdistan," Khalid said in a telephone interview from another Kurdish city, Sulaimaniyah.