Kurdish Democratic Union Party
Turkey: an awkward partner
As Turkey’s unstable internal politics have lurched toward repression, its foreign policy appears to have lost direction. The escalating war with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has pushed resolution of the Kurdish question into the distant future, while terrorist strikes and a conflict with Russia have dragged Ankara deeper into the Syrian quagmire. Meanwhile, the suppression of voices critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has raised doubts about just how far the rule of law applies. Where is Turkey headed? This question is being asked in Brussels, Berlin and Washington. Since 2011, Turkish politics have been unpredictable.The answer matters because Turkey has a key role to play in any effort to resolve the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. In Western capitals, it is expected that Ankara will take a clear stance in the fight against Daesh, also known as Islamic State.
As Kurdish influence grows, statehood is still distant
War and chaos in Syria and Iraq have catapulted the Kurdish minorities in those countries into a position of unprecedented influence and even military power. Turkey is meanwhile waging a counterinsurgency campaign against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the country’s southeast, while Iran’s relations with the Kurds and other national minorities remain tense. ...