A collection of posts on the recent Turkish move in Syria and Iraq

Here is a selection of articles on the recent Turkish decision to strike the Kurdish PKK and the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.


First, this EDAM discussion paper articulates the possible rationale of the recent Turkish intervention:

“The rationale for Ankara’s intervention may be:

a) to repel ISIS and eliminate

the threat near Turkish borders and quell the criticisms for its lack of


b) to disallow Kurdish PYD (which many in Ankara see in line with

the PKK threat) to capture Jarablus and strengthen its bid for autonomy.

c) to create a buffer zone to host refugee waves.

d) to use the territory a logistical base for Syrian rebels for them to launch offensives against Assad regime’s remaining positions in Aleppo.

 In this post by Steven Cook discuses the risks of the American involvement 

“Ankara is a less potent ally in the fight against the Islamic State than the Kurds, it is no longer a significant player in the future of Iraq, and it maintains a wholly unrealistic view of what will happen in Syria if the Assad regime falls. The Middle East is hard and Syria is especially complex, but it is difficult to see what the United States gets out of the deal other than the runways of Incirlik. That is not going to solve either Syria or the problematic conditions that created the Islamic State, but it will pull Washington closer to war on Turkish terms. In Turkish it is called bataklık, or quagmire.”

Yavuz Baydar wrote about the domestic implications

“Does Obama even realize the immense risk that such calculations may drag Turkey into a swamp of violence? I have my strong doubts.

Abandoning the peace process and opening the ground for endless provocations at this stage promises only vendetta and bloodshed.

Let me end with the June 7 election results in the 12 mainly Kurdish provinces of Turkey, where the HDP emerged as the first party:

Kars (44 percent), Mardin (73.26), Şırnak (85.36), Hakkari (86.4), Diyarbakır (79.06), Batman (72.58), Siirt (65.81), Van (74.82), Muş (71.32), Bitlis (60.36), Ağrı (78.22) and Tunceli (60.91).

Does anyone have any idea where we should place this free vote and the will it represents in Parliament, in the ugly picture of war and mass arrests, targeting a “negotiating partner” and Kurds in general?”

On the Kurdish side, Mustafa Gurbuz wrote

“It is true that Demirtas is not so powerful to challenge PKK’s hegemony, but it is unwarranted to deny ongoing competition for the leadership within the Kurdish movement.

Attacks against the HDP have always been concurrent with attacks against Huda-Par, the legal party associated with the Kurdish Hizbullah.

Bombing HDP’s rally in Diyarbakir and the gathering in Suruc were followed by the murder of Huda-Par members, portrayed as “hate crimes” against ISIS militants in the news media.

Whoever is behind these attacks and whichever narrative one may believe, the gap between political parties is widening day by day and forming a strong coalition is becoming a remote possibility for Prime Minister Davutoglu.”

Finally, here is Senator McCain’s statement

“However, we are concerned about reports of Turkish forces shelling Kurdish villages inside Syria.  As the United States and Turkey enhance our cooperation against ISIL, we believe these mutual efforts will be most effective in collaboration with local forces on the ground, including the Kurds.

About nervana111

Doctor, blogger and Commentator on Middle East issues. The only practising doctor who write in Middle Eastern politics in UK.
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