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Kurdish Autonomy in Northern Iraq

March 08, 2004

Re "The U.S. Is Brewing Up a Disaster for the Kurds," Opinion, Feb. 29: Brendan O'Leary, a constitutional advisor to the so-called Kurdistan National Assembly, argues that Kurds must retain their "existing territory and powers" within a federal Iraq and their rights must include the ability to "opt out of federal laws." He also claims that Turkey is a largely unreformed country in the post-Soviet world and that it didn't back the United States' Iraq war.

Not only Kurds live in northern Iraq but also millions of others, including Turkmens as well as Arabs. Ambitions to push for excessive rights, such as the ability to opt out of federal laws, would only bring a full disintegration of Iraq and eventually a disaster on the scale of the one that devastated the Balkans in the last decade.

On Turkey's reforms in democracy and human rights, volumes could be written about legislation passed and successfully implemented, including the abolition of capital punishment.

Turkey has been a member of the coalition in Iraq. Among other efforts to support the U.S., Turkish airspace was opened for U.S. aircraft and missiles. That's how three American missiles accidentally hit Turkish territory. So much for Turkey not backing the U.S.

A. Engin Ansay

Consul General

Republic of Turkey

Los Angeles

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