Letter: West must rein Turkey in

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Sir: The UN Secretary-General is right to point out that Turkey's invasion of Iraq is a transgression of Iraq's territorial integrity ("Turks ignore UN's mercy call for Kurds", 19 May) and contrary to the United Nations Charter. The invasion also adds further instability in the region. It was an illegal act and western governments should be demanding Turkey's immediate withdrawal.

Your correspondent also refers to a call to arms from the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, and quotes him calling on his people to fight. This is hardly surprising given Turkey's blatant aggression, its denial of basic human rights to the Kurds, the destruction of homes and villages, and murder of civilians including women and children.

However, Mr Ocalan has said that he is not demanding secession from Turkey or changes in recognised national boundaries. He offered a ceasefire under international supervision in return for talks with Turkey without any other preconditions.

The ball is in Turkey's court, but western governments must ensure that Turkey accepts this offer. If gentle persuasion does not succeed, then they should end all political and military aid to Turkey forthwith. This dirty war of genocide against the Kurds has got to stop.


(Erith and Thamesmead, Lab)

House of Commons

London SW1