ARBIL (Iraqi Kurdistan) Oct 30, 2007 (AFP) - Kurds on Tuesday blamed the Turkish military for the failure of talks between Baghdad and Ankara over Kurdish guerrillas and urged fresh dialogue to end their uprising.
At a high-level meeting in Ankara on October 19, a delegation from Baghdad offered proposals to avert a threatened Turkish military incursion into Iraqi Kurdistan to attack the camps of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
But Ankara said it was not satisfied by the proposals from the visiting delegation, which had two members from the Kurdistan Region.
Kamel Shaker, a top Kurdish leader, said the talks collapsed because of a tough Turkish military stance.
"The failure of the meeting in Ankara was due to the intransigent attitude of the Turkish military which believes that if it meets with representatives of Kurdistan, they would lose face," he said.
Shaker, a hardline communist leader, said the Turkish military refused to acknowledge the two Kurdish members of the Baghdad delegation, Sifin Dezaie and Imad Ahmed, during the talks.
"The military is adamant in its view," he told AFP at his office in Arbil, the capital of the Iraqi Kurdistan.
"They do not want to meet with the representatives of Kurdistan, or have a dialogue with president Massoud Barzani. They do not want Kurdistan."
Shaker said the other stumbling block was Ankara's refusal to accept the deployment of Peshmerga, or Kurdish fighters, along the Iraq-Turkey border where according to reports, some 100,000 Turkish troops have been deployed.
Azad Aslam, a political analyst with the English weekly Globe Kurdish in Arbil said "the Turks also refused the idea of controlling the border jointly by the American and Iraqi forces."
"The Turkish demands are to close the bases of the PKK in Kurdistan, to arrest and surrender its leaders... This derailed the negotiation as why would Iraqis ask the Kurds in Kurdistan to attack other Kurds?"
Aslam's view was echoed by Barzani in an interview published on Tuesday in Turkey's Milliyet newspaper.
"You (Ankara) do not speak to me, then you ask me to do things against the PKK. How can this be?" he said. "I am a friend of Turkey but I am not taking orders from Turkey or anyone else."
Aslam too blamed the Turkish military for the failure of talks.
"The military does not want a political dialogue. On the contrary they want more tension to assert their power."
"Why is Turkey's hostility towards Iraqi Kurdistan? Is it because we are the real problem in Ankara's eyes and not the PKK?" Barzani asked.
Shaker called for more diplomatic dialogue, especially ahead of an international meeting in Istanbul early next month on the turmoil in Iraq.
But he said one such opportunity had been lost as Turkey cancelled the visit of a delegation from Iraqi Kurdistan to meet officials of the AKP (Justice and Development Party), Turkey's ruling party.
He also said Turkish leaders should ask themselves why the PKK was born in the first place. "Even if they eliminated the PKK, it would be born again in some other form."
The Iraqi Kurdish administration wants to maintains a policy of dialogue and its prime minister Nechirvan Barzani on Monday reiterated that his goverenment would not allow any attacks against Turkey from his region.
"We consider attacks against Turkey as illegal," he said.
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