Operation Provide Comfort : Turkish perspectives
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In this dissertion Operation Provide Comfort is evaluated from the Turkish perspective. The Operation has created much controversy in Turkish foreign affairs yet little information about has been accessible. Successive governments between 1991 and 1994 have failed to dissolve doubts concerning the Operation and this has led to speculation over ’’foreign forces” in Turkey, their ’’real” aims, deployment, operational principles and even "relations with the PKK” . Trying to find answers to these questions has proven extremely difficult because the Turkish political parties failed to record their proceedings. Also, many documents being held by the Ministries and the Turkish General Staff are classified and therefore inaccessible. For this reason, I had to rely on personal contacts as well as materials gathered from the Turkish Grand National Assembly Library, the American Embassy, Bilkent University Library, the Middle East Technical University Library, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Bureau of United Nations in Turkey. The main objective of this dissertation is to present the different views prevailing on the Turkish side and to trace their origins. To achieve this, Turkish perceptions and responses to OPC from its inception to the present day are chronologically listed. The thesis consists of three parts: developments leading to the creation of OPC and the evolution of OPC ’ s force posture; the debates pertaining to OPC and the views of successive governments,as well as political parties, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Turkish General Staff. The thesis concludes with a critical evaluation of the arguments and debates concerning the OPC. Ultimately, the objective of this thesis is to present the views of the involved parties in Turkey so that it would be useful to those wishing to understand the issue.