Newsweek publishes Cagaptay's open letter to Obama
An open letter to US President-elect Barack Obam written by Soner Cagaptay, director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, has been published in this week's issue of Newsweek international magazine. "Since 2004, the PKK has increased its terrorist attacks into Turkey from American-controlled Iraq," he wrote. "In 2007, the Bush administration started to help Turkey take on the issue by providing Ankara with intelligence support. Now there is an opportunity for you to take that a step further by bringing Iraqi Kurds on board with the United States and Turkey to tackle the PKK." Adding that the Iraqi Kurds helped Ankara and Washington fight the PKK in the 1990s, in due course cementing their ties with Ankara, Cagaptay wrote, "If you engage the Iraqi Kurds to fight the PKK, you will open the path for the Iraqi Kurds and Ankara to build bridges with one another, while helping build the Turks' confidence in the United States as a friend." Stressing Turkey's importance for the US, he added, "You should not ignore Turkey. Because of its strategic location, Turkey is a key partner to the United States in tackling many foreign-policy challenges. You will need Turkish support and the Turkish base at Incirlik to achieve many of your goals, such as withdrawing troops from Iraq."