August 12, 2008

Turkish Columnist Views PKK Attack As Part of Russia’s Regional Energy War

Text of report in English by Turkish privately-owned, mass- circulation daily Hurriyet website on 12 August

[Commentary by Fatih Cekirge: "PKK's attacks in eastern Turkey part of international energy wars"]

The attack, which killed nine Turkish soldiers, cannot be seen as a simple terror act and should be evaluated from a wider perspective which includes international war on energy security and Russia- Georgia conflict.

I had witnessed the high-security measures taken on the motorway between Erzincan-Kemah. This axis also hosts a portion of Baku- Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline and a major natural gas pipeline along with it. The planned Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad would also pass through this motorway. This is what generates the significance of Kemah.

A while ago a bomb attack was carried out on the BTC pipeline. This spot is located on Erzincan's Refahiye motorway. PKK claimed responsibility for this attack.

Russia and Armenia oppose the BTC oil pipeline. It is not a secret that Russia is uncomfortable with the BTC pipeline, which was designated as an alternative energy route.

The first leg of the BTC is Azerbaijan's capital Baku, the second one is Georgia's capital Tbilisi and the third one is Turkey's southern province of Ceyhan through Erzincan.

And finally Russia opened war against Georgia by using the situation in South Ossetia as an excuse. The aim of this war is to overthrow the Saakashvili government, which wants to weaken the Russian domination (in the region) and seeks NATO membership.

PKK's attack, which killed nine Turkish soldiers, is not a coincidence given the fact that Georgia is in war with Russia. This is a clear evidence that PKK is used as a subcontractor.

When we look at the picture, it is clear that our nine soldiers were not killed in a simple terror attack. This is a by-product of an international war on energy security which directly affects Turkey's future.

Originally published by Hurriyet website, Istanbul, in English 12 Aug 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring European. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.