Friday, October 12, 2007
(Al-Zaman) - Turkish companies doing business in northern Iraq have begun to pull out of the Kurdistan region in anticipation of a Turkish military incursion, the Iraqi newspaper "Al-Zaman" reported on October 10. Ahmad Ajar, head of an association of Turkish businessmen based in Irbil, said many Turkish companies have ended their contracts and are pulling Turkish staff from the region. "Al-Zaman" reports that Turkish investments in Iraqi Kurdistan are valued at $5 billion. Meanwhile, the Kurdistan regional government has said that it is mobilizing its peshmerga forces to confront any military incursion, which they view as a violation of Iraq's sovereignty. If the Turkish military launches a wide-scale incursion into northern Iraq, it would likely do so after the three-day Eid Al-Fitr holiday, which runs from October 14-16, marking the end of Ramadan.