ANKARA, 14 October (RFE/RL) -- Turkish Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu says Turkey might well use military force to block formation of an independent Kurdish state in Iraq. Cakmakoglu said today that Turkey would not tolerate such a development. He said that if deterrent force fails to restrain Iraqi Kurds then Turkey could opt to use active military force.
Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said in published comments yesterday that developments are dragging Turkey into a war.
Turkey has expressed reservations about a proposed U.S. military operation in Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein's regime. Cakmakoglu said today that Turkey does not want a war. But, he said, if the United States intervenes in Iraq, Turkey may be forced to protect its interests.