Iraq: December 27, 2002

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Turkey is negotiating a the price of their participation in a Iraq invasion. Turkey is ready to send in two army corps (70,000 troops) from eastern Turkey and wants $28 billion in compensation from the US. The Turkish economy has suffered from the embargo on Iraq because Iraq has always been a major trading partner. The Turkish attitude can be best summed up with an ancient Turkish saying "Don't get involved in the affairs of the Arabs." This bit of wisdom came from the centuries that the Turkish empire controlled most of the Middle East and ruling Arab populations proved to be one headache after another. Turkey's main interest is northern Iraq, where the Kurdish population is eager to seize the oil wells there and declare a Kurdish state. The Kurds aren't Arabs (they are related to the Persians, and Europeans) and the Turks are talking about sending troops into northern Iraq to protect the Turkomen (nearly a million Turkic people) living there. Arabs have never been very successful fighting Turks, and if a Turkish army enters northern Iraq, nothing will stop it (although the Kurds might slow it down.) 

 

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