Ankara and Baghdad: Curious Logic

While Sunni extremists of ISIS slaughter other Sunnis (left in the lurch by Baghdad) in Iraq, Erdogan has succeeded in re-energizing Kurdish aspirations for political justice in Turkey.

On October 6, I warned of the dangers of Erdogan’s apparent desire to use ISIS to attack the Kurds:

A barbaric ISIS takeover of Kobani under the guns of silent Turkish tanks will burn Turkey’s “good neighbor policy” to the ground, give ISIS enormous momentum, ensure Turkish-Kurdish hatred and violence for a generation, probably doom Turkish democracy, and very likely end up leading to a Turkish withdrawal from NATO and transformation into a state destabilized by Sunni radicalism. Kobani is a turning point. Ankara is heading down a slippery slope, and its callousness toward Syrian Kurds will generate an increasingly serious chain of interlocked disasters.[“In a Confusing Mideast, Finally a Clear Moral Choice” on Media With Conscience.]

On Nov. 1 in Diyarbakir, an estimated 15,000 Turkish Kurds took to the dangerous streets to show that rather than cowing them, Erdogan has created a new generation of Kurdish democracy activists. On this day, neither Turkish soldiers nor Turkish police attacked the activists.

If Ankara supported Kurdish aspirations and Baghdad supported Sunni aspirations–instead of playing devious, short-term sectarian games, the Mideast could be a very different place.

 

 

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