8.3.3        Turkey’s Relationship with Iraq

 (This is a current extract from the Patterns of Power Repository.  An archived copy of this page is held at http://www.patternsofpower.org/edition02/833.htm)

Turkey is a Muslim country and could be expected to have been upset by anti-Muslim rhetoric prior to the invasion, especially George W. Bush’s use of the word “crusade” (7.4.3).

Turkey denied America the use of its territory to act as a base for operations – even though both countries were members of NATO.  This has been ascribed to a failure in diplomacy.[1] 

Turkey had problems with its Kurds and didn’t want to encourage Kurdish nationalism by giving more autonomy to the Iraqi Kurds.[2]  Turkey therefore had reason to be nervous of the consequences of invading Iraq.

© PatternsofPower.org, 2014

[1] The Middle East Review of International Affairs published an article entitled The Failure of US-Turkish Prewar Negotiations: An Overconfident United States, Political Mismanagement, and a Conflicted Military, in Volume 10, No. 3, Article 3/10 - September 2006. 

[2] On 3 October 2002, the New York Times published an article by Craig S. Smith entitled Threats and Responses: Ethnic Tensions; Turkey, Mindful of Kurds, Fears Spillover if Change Washes Over Iraq.  This article was available in April 2014 at http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/03/world/threats-responses-ethnic-tensions-turkey-mindful-kurds-fears-spillover-if-change.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm.