Baghdad can do little about Turkish armed forces in northern Iraq

ISTANBUL — Turkey’s recent deployment of troops and tanks into northern Iraq has caused a major diplomatic row between Ankara and Baghdad, but experts say Turkish forces are there to stay.

“Honestly speaking there is not much Baghdad can do,” former Turkish consul to Erbil [capital of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in northern Iraq] Aydın Selcen said.

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Residents of doomed ancient town have nowhere to go

The small ancient town of Hasankeyf in southeastern Turkey.

The small ancient town of Hasankeyf in southeastern Turkey.

ISTANBUL – Hasankeyf, an 11,500 year-old town in southeastern Turkey with vestiges of 20 distinct cultures, is slated to be under 60 metres of water in the near future. As construction of the controversial Ilisu Dam nears completion some 80 kilometres away, the government is encouraging the 3,000 mostly poor residents to move into apartments they can’t afford.

“They killed Hasankeyf,” says Ercan Tarhan, who works at a café in the village. He says he doesn’t have much hope for saving his town, and isn’t sure what he’ll do after it’s flooded. “We don’t want to leave.”

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