Turkey’s Incursion in Iraq: Why No Legal Consequences?

Between October 2007 and February 2008, Turkey intervened into northern Iraq several times, by air and on the ground. On the face of it, without having been invited by either the Iraqi government or the Kurdistan Regional Government of northern Iraq, these acts were illegal. According to UN Charter Article 2(4), Turkey should not have used force against Iraq’s “territorial integrity or political independence”. But there are reasons it might have been permissible under international law.

This essay explores the legality of Turkey’s incursion and then the political discourse around it. It argues that, whether or not its incursion was legal, the reason no one attempted to charge Turkey with violating international law is that they consider good relations with Turkey more important than law.

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2 Responses to “Turkey’s Incursion in Iraq: Why No Legal Consequences?”

  1. Funerals, the Turkish public and the war with the PKK « The Menso Guide to War, Conflict and World Issues Says:

    […] deployed in the region in Turkey’s biggest offensive in a decade. (See more on the incursion here.) But the violence did not abate, and five months after the conclusion of hostilities, the PKK […]

  2. How to destroy the PKK « The Menso Guide to War, Conflict and World Issues Says:

    […] toward the PKK, perhaps most starkly in 2008 with his willingness to break international law and intervene in Iraqi Kurdistan to avenge the deaths of Turkish soldiers. He has been courting Syria, presumably with a view to […]


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