What’s Wrong With Turkey ?


Western governments are perplexed by Turkey’s dangerous tactical move!

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What to Make of Turkey’s New Counterterrorism Policy

pierini_marc

By Marc Pierini – For Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who as prime minister had courageously launched a peace process with the Kurdish leadership as well as nurtured good economic relations with the Iraqi Kurds, the tables suddenly turned. The Kurds of Turkey became his main political challengers at home, while the Kurds in Iraq and Syria were, if only by default, moving closer to their dream of an independent Kurdistan.

Now, Turkey has made a spectacular change of policy toward the Islamic State by allowing the coalition to use the country’s southeastern air bases. This is a genuine game changer: it will allow the coalition to deny the Islamic State easy access to the Turkish border, the group’s only gateway to the world, through which it transfers ammunition, jihadists, and smuggled oil.

Turkey’s new policy should be analyzed as the result not just of the U.S. administration’s strong insistence but also of Ankara’s determination to prevent YPG forces from controlling most of the Syrian border.

Ankara’s move against the PKK is purely political. In the June 7 legislative election, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost a large number of seats to the Kurdish HDP. Since then, the AKP has declared the PKK fundamentally hostile to the nation’s security, threatened to end the immunity of HDP members of parliament, and lambasted the Kurds in general. In doing so, the AKP hopes to make up its losses among the Kurds of Turkey in the rerun of the legislative election that is looming on the horizon.

The AKP’s goal is to regain the ability to form a single-party government that it lost in June. The best ultimate outcome for the president would be for the AKP to gain a three-fifths majority in the parliament, enabling a modification of the constitution and the introduction of an executive presidential regime. But that is a more elusive goal.

Western governments are perplexed by this dangerous tactical move against the PKK and have urged Turkey to preserve the peace process with its own Kurds. The July 28 meeting of NATO’s North Atlantic Council ended in a predictable show of solidarity with Turkey in the face of recent terrorist attacks, yet it seemed more like lip service. The council’s final statement was conspicuously brief and carefully avoided any reference to the PKK or to a safe zone in Syria.

By virtue of Turkey’s geography and the Islamic State’s rapid expansion, Ankara is facing a very serious threat, not least destabilization from within by followers of the militants. Turkey has now chosen its camp and has the backing of NATO. Read full analysis.

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The Turkish Mission: Reining in the Kurds. Continued Covert Support to ISIS

By Binoy Kampmark – The situation is pressing. Turkey, having always expressed an ambivalent position on how to deal with the threat of Islamic State, has gone on the offensive against their mortal enemy, the Kurds. This is problematic, not least because the Kurds have also provided considerable fight in the battle against the Islamic State and its assortment of forces.

Targeting the PKK and dealing with ISIS are not seen as mutually exclusive, and the boutique of paranoid ideologies is being frequented by such individuals as the presidential foreign advisor Ibrahim Kalin. “Although acting with different motivations, ISIS and the PKK both employ similar tactics and goals to maintain their presence in the region, carrying out terrorist attacks.” Like Siamese headed monsters, ISIS and the PKK sought to manipulate the political process for military gain. “No democracy can allow that. Terrorism must be opposed in all its forms whether it is ISIS or PKK terrorism.”

The interventions by Ankara, now cloaked by Washington’s backing, are richly cynical in calculation. The targeting of ISIS positions is being undertaken in a way that may weaken the body without actually benefiting the Kurds. In joining the broader fight, the goal here is to keep the lid on the Syrian Rojava canton, stomping on any prospects that a sovereign Kurdish state might develop.

The true beef Turkey has here is not with the caliphate designs of Islamic State, but its deeply visceral dislike and suspicion of Kurdish ambitions. In this, it has relied on Washington’s meddlesome desire to rally in a manner that is undermining the very fighters that have proven to be most effective. Full article.

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L’ « antiterrorisme » de l’Otan

Par Manlio Dinucci – Derrière le paravent de la « lutte contre l’EI » (organisation de fait fonctionnelle à la stratégie USA/Otan), la Turquie attaque les Kurdes du PKK, qui combattent contre le groupe État Islamique (EI). Soutenue par la Maison Blanche qui, par la voix de la porte-parole Alistair Baskey, définit le PKK comme « un groupe terroriste » en affirmant que « la Turquie a le droit de se défendre contre les attaques terroristes des rebelles kurdes ».

En même temps Etats-Unis et Turquie se sont mis d’accord sur un plan pour la création d’une « zone sûre », formellement « libre de l’EI », le long d’une bande d’une centaine de kilomètres en territoire syrien à la frontière turque. Le plan prévoit l’utilisation de chasseurs-bombardiers étasuniens déployés en Turquie et de forces terrestres turques, accompagnées dans des opérations secrètes par des forces spéciales USA/Otan. Continue.

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