Ankara, May 12, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
Why is the Turkish Chief of the General Staff absent?
By Manolis Kostidis
The PKK is deeply concerned of a possible attack by the Turkish armed forces in northern Iraq in the immediate future.
Duran Kalkan, who is one of the important chieftains of the Kurdish organization, said that “Ankara has made preparations to attack not only in northern Syria, but also in Iraq. We know that if we are attacked it will be under orders of Erdogan. The AKP (Turkey’s ruling party) has entered a climate of war and conflict”.
This a strange period in Turkey, with the leader of the Armed Forces Necdet Özel absent on a sick leave for at least 15 days, without the health reasons behind it made known. In reports in the Turkish press, there is mention that the Turkish government plans to intervene in Syria and Northern Iraq, in order to increase its rates in view of the June 7 election. In AKP there is concern that the rates the pro-Kurdish HDP appears to be gatting (over the electoral threshold of 10%) would reduce the power of the government. Therefore, they hope that the increase of national morale can reduce the rates of the HDP.
The Turkish generals are generally opposed to war scenarios, since they already count tens of thousands of victims in the fighting with the PKK and believe that an invasion on a Middle Eastern country can bring unexpected consequences.
In the first Gulf War in 1991, the then Turkish president Turgut Özal had expressed his desire to participate in the military operations alongside the US. Turkish generals did not want active participation, fearing serious losses. This disagreement led to the resignation of the then leader of the Turkish Armed Forces Necip Torumtay.