Ethnic Conflict in Tal Afar?
A correspondent in Europe sent me the following from the Turkish press.
This very abridged story from a Turkish newspaper could be of interest. The Talafar case is VERY serious in fact, Foreign Minister Gül openly is threatening the USA to end cooperation. Guess what the opposition says: They are shocked and criticize the government of Turkey for cooperating with US on Iraq. I know how anti-American the Turks are, the government just has a good position since its backed by all the press including liberals. By the way perhaps you hear other numbers, but the Turkish press reports 60.000 inhabitants out of 450,000 have fled and are in a critical situation.
Gül and Gen Chief of staff are in Lithuania (for different reasons) and evaluate the situation in Telafer from there
The US wanted the Türkmen security forces of Telafer [obviously they are governing themselves] to make searches in some houses. The Türkmen security forces rejected this since they knew the people, who were also Türkmen. Upon US insistance on the operation, the security chief of Telafar stepped back and the US appointed a Kurd, Hurshit Hasso as security chief, who immediatley started the operation using support of Kurdish troops from Zaho and Erbil. These troops participated as Iraqi Security forces. Now much of the civilian population is in the Kamber valley and are afraid that the Kurds will bring their families along, settle for good and thus change the balance for the national census in Iraq, which is to be held on Oct 12.
The author is Fikret BILA, the newspaper Milliyet.