St. Louis Public Radio News
2:07 pm
Mon March 10, 2003

Local Kurds Rally For U.S., Against Turkey

St. Louis, MO – More than 120 Iraqi-born St. Louisans rallied for the U.S. and against Turkey at the Old Courthouse Sunday.

The group consisted of Kurds, from northern Iraq, who have enjoyed relative freedom from Saddam Hussein's regime for the past decade. That's because of the no-fly zone in northern Iraq.

Mohammed Yasin says he supports U.S. action to get rid of Hussein; but he says Kurds don't want Turkish forces to be part of that effort.

"Turkey has a bad history of invasion and occupying the countries around that in the Middle East," Yasin said. "And we're afraid of that because Turkish doesn't want the freedom for the people in Iraq and especially Kurdish people."

Yasin says Kurds want to stay a part of Iraq, and not form their own country or join Turkey. Last week, Turkey increased its military presence on the border with northern Iraq.

About 400 Kurds currently live in St. Louis.