Turkey reconsiders Iraq troop deployment

20 October 2003
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Teyyip Erdogan on 18 October announced that he may reconsider sending troops to neighbouring Iraq if Iraqi public opinion was against it. 'If the Iraqi people say, 'we do not want anybody', then there is nothing we can do,' he said. 'If wanted, we will go. If not wanted, we will not go. We haven't made a definite decision.' Speaking in Spain, Erdogan added that the Turkey was 'not longing to send soldiers to Iraq. There was a request from the US and we are evaluating it'.

Kurdish groups in Iraq have spoken vociferously against the deployment of Turkish troops in Iraq. Kurdish Democratic Party leader and member of the Iraqi governing council Mahmoud Barzani said on 16 October that he would resign if Turkish troops entered the country (MEED 10:10:03).

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