Turkey Takes Fight To Militants, But Today’s Chaos Has Deeper Roots
Turkey Enters The Game Launching Airstrikes Against Militants
The Turkish military has launched additional airstrikes against Kurdish militants known as the PKK at over 17 different locations in Turkey’s Hakkari province, on the border with Iran and Iraq. The strikes began after nine people were killed on Monday during a wave of violence targeting Turkish security forces. At least 50 people have been killed over the past month, following Ankara’s decision to launch a two-front campaign against the Islamic State and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The man leading the PKK, Cemil Bayik, has accused Turkey of trying to protect the Islamic State group by attacking Kurdish fighters.
The Treaty Of Sevres, Short-Lived, But Crucial In Shaping Turkey
Ninety-five years ago, Europe carved up the Ottoman empire. The Treaty of Sevres barely lasted a year, but we’re feeling its aftershocks today.
“Sèvres has been largely forgotten in the West, but it has a potent legacy in Turkey, where it has helped fuel a form of nationalist paranoia some scholars have called the ‘Sèvres syndrome.’ Sèvres certainly plays a role in Turkey’s sensitivity over Kurdish separatism, as well as the belief that the Armenian genocide — widely used by European diplomats to justify their plans for Anatolia in 1920 — was always an anti-Turkish conspiracy rather than a matter of historical truth,” asserts Nick Danford of Foreign Policy magazine.
Middle East Stability Depends On Ending Civil Wars
Brookings Institution scholar Kenneth Pollack contends the chaos of the Middle East will not be calmed unless the international community takes action to end the multiple civil wars ravaging the region. Even defeating ISIS will not restore a semblance of normalcy.
“Focusing on any of these second order problems—refugees, the rise of the Islamic State, the brewing Sunni-Shiite conflict—without addressing the civil wars themselves is senseless and self-defeating. No matter how much the international community might do to alleviate the misery of the refugees swamping the region, until the civil wars are brought to an end, it will be unsustainable; there will simply be more and more refugees,” he argues.
Further, even if ISIS were defeated that success “would prove ephemeral if it somehow did so without addressing the larger problem of the ongoing civil wars.”