“Turkey’s Slippery Slope to Syria” Asli Aydintasbas, European Council of Foreign Relations, 22 February 2016

With the beginning of a full-fledged insurgency inside Turkey and military posturing on the Syrian border, Turkish-Kurdish enmity is becoming the single most significant dynamic defining the near-term political fortunes of Turkey.

A car bomb in Ankara detonated last week killing 28 people and further complicating Turkey’s position in the Syrian war. While the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons claimed responsibility, Ankara insisted it was the Syrian Democratic Union Party and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, both considered terrorist groups by Turkey due to their involvement with the Kurdistan Workers Party. United States involvement is causing further tension, as the United States has partnered with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units to fight ISIS. Despite incredible tension, Turkish and United States presidents had an 80-minute phone call on Friday which President Obama used to restate the United States position on the dynamics between Syrian, Kurdish and Turkish forces.These issues are concentrated close to the Turkish border in a small area inside Syria that Turkey wants to make a safe zone for refugees. At the same time, Turkey’s allies refuse to make this area a “no fly” zone and is where Syrian opposition groups are being bombed, where Turkey is bombing the Kurds, and where thousands of refugees have fled awaiting entry into Turkey. The political climate in Turkey is currently at an impasse regarding Syrian and Kurdish issues, and does not seem to be making any improvements in the near future.

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“Turkey’s Slippery Slope to Syria” Asli Aydintasbas, European Council of Foreign Relations, 22 February 2016

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