Turkey denies incursion into Iraqi territory

ANKARA, Turkey — The government on Wednesday (June 6th) denied media reports that Turkish troops carried out an operation against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) terrorists based in Iraq. The Foreign Ministry also said it is prepared to hold talks with authorities of Iraqi Kurdistan if they end their support for the PKK. Tensions between Turkey and its eastern neighbour have risen due to a series of attacks by Kurdish guerrillas. An AP report, citing unnamed security sources, said hundreds of Turkish troops crossed the border Wednesday to chase them. Turkish, Iraqi and US officials have all denied this, however.

“[I] don’t think there’s any substance to it,” State Department Sean McCormack told a press briefing. “Our ambassador in Ankara, Ross Wilson, went in, talked to the Turkish General Staff; they said the reports weren’t accurate.”

“We don’t think it is in the interest of either state that there be a military incursion into Iraq,” McCormack added.

Meanwhile, financial markets are watching the situation carefully. Moody’s analyst Kristin Lindow says Turkey’s credit rating would be harmed by additional political uncertainty, should a military campaign take place. (Milliyet, Hurriyet, Zaman, Financial Times, Reuters – 07/06/07; AP, NTV, Reuters, AFP, TurkishPress.com – 06/06/07)

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