The Russian-Turkish conflict is reflected not only in the military, political and economic tension between the two countries but also in the Russian media, which expresses extreme hostility towards Turkey and its president.
This is evident, for example, in articles in English published recently on the Russian websites NEO and Pravda. One of these articles cites “a leading military expert” as saying that, in the event of a war between the two countries, “Russia will have to use nuclear weapons immediately, because the existence of the nation will be at stake.” The others focus on Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, presenting him as an enabler and supporter of the Islamic State (ISIS) and calling him a “madman” and a “murderer.” One even suggests that Turkey was “a prime mover in the [November 13] Paris attack.”
The following are excerpts from the articles. Continue reading
There are many unpredictable aspects of the Syrian conflict, but the downing of the Russian bomber by Turkish jets on Tuesday was not one of them. Indeed, given the simultaneous military campaigns taking place in a relatively small swath of territory by Russian, American, French, Syrian, Iranian, and other forces, it is surprising that such an incident did not happen earlier. Nevertheless, the downing of a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 by Turkish jets marked the first attack on a Russian fighter aircraft by a North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member state since 1953. Although this incident is not by itself sufficient to provoke an armed conflict between Turkey and Russia, it illustrates the main danger confronting the world in Syria, namely a conflagration between regional powers, many of which are armed with nuclear weapons. Continue reading
Some of the most successful fighters against the Islamic State are being isolated and attacked by America’s new favorite ally in the region.
Kurdish militias are achieving the stated goals of the Obama administration — to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS — as well or better than any other fighting force. From Kobane to the recent liberation of Tel Abyad, Kurdish militias have won hard-fought victories against ISIS fighters in Syria, while preventing the advance of ISIS into northern Iraq.
What’s more, the Kurds in northern Syria have established a political order like few others in this region of the world. Known as Rojava, the Kurdish-controlled areas of Syria are governed through participatory decision-making forums that include councils made up of women, Christians, Yazidis and Muslims. David Graeber, a leading figure in the Occupy Wall Street movement, calls Rojava a “remarkable democratic experiment.” Continue reading
- It appears as if the Turkish government is using ISIS as a pretext to attack the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party).
- Turkey just announced that its air base at Incirlik will soon be open to coalition forces, presumably to fight ISIS. But the moment Turkey started bombing, it targeted Kurdish positions in Iraq, in addition to targeting ISIS positions in Syria.
- In Turkey, millions of indigenous Kurds are continually terrorized and murdered, but ISIS terrorists can freely travel and use official border crossings to go to Syria and return to Turkey; they are even treated at Turkish hospitals.
- If this is how the states that rule over Kurds treat them, why is there even any question as to whether the Kurds should have their own self-government?
Turkey’s government seems to be waging a new war against the Kurds, now struggling to get an internationally recognized political status in Syrian Kurdistan.
On July 24, Turkish media sources reported that Turkish jet fighters bombed Kurdish PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) bases in Qandil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, as well as the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.
Turkey is evidently unsettled by the rapprochement the PKK seems to be establishing with the U.S. and Europe. Possibly alarmed by the PKK’s victories against ISIS, as well as its strengthening international standing, Ankara, in addition to targeting ISIS positions in Syria, has been bombing the PKK positions in the Qandil mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan, where the PKK headquarters are located.
There is no ISIS in Qandil. Continue reading
Turkey’s government says it has bombed Islamic State (IS) targets in Syria.
A day earlier the two sides exchanged fire near the border, with one soldier killed and two more injured.
Turkey is to let the US carry out air strikes against the Islamic State group from a key military base near the Syrian border, US officials have said.
Turkish police also launched raids to arrest suspect IS militants on Friday morning in 140 locations in Istanbul. Continue reading
Turkish army has been put on full combat alert as the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) has intensified its activities in the country, Milliyet newspaper quoted Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc as saying on Oct.28. Continue reading
BERLIN, Germany – NATO must force Turkey to stop its undeclared support of the Islamic State (ISIS) and shift its policy toward the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the deputy speaker of the German parliament said.
Claudia Roth said in an interview with Rudaw that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government is pursuing a “murky” policy in Syria because it wants the Kurds weakened and their fighters “annihilated.”
“What we have learned is that Mr Erdogan wouldn’t mind if Kurds were weakened and then annihilated,” said Roth, deputy speaker of the Bundestag and a Green Party MP.
Erdogan’s “dealings with the ISIS are unacceptable. I could not believe that Turkey harbors an ISIS militant camp in Istanbul,” Roth said. “Turkey has also allowed weapons to be transported into Syria through its borders. Also that the ISIS has been able to sell its oil via Turkey is extraordinary,” she added. Continue reading
Should Turkey decide that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party – seen now by Ankara as an additional arm of Assad’s forces – threatens its national security, it may decide to invade its neighbor.
Will the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) drag Turkey into a war in Syria? The Turkish media has emphasized the declaration by the PKK’s de facto leader Murat Karayilan that “If Turkey intervenes against our people in western Kurdistan, the area will turn into a battlezone.”
Western Kurdistan is the name the Kurds call eastern Syria, inhabited by more than two million Kurds. Turkey now blames Syria for using the PKK as an additional arm, allowing members of the organization to roam freely in its territory with weapons and permitting them to carry out terror acts in Turkish territory. Should Turkey decide that the operations of PKK members threaten its national security, it may decide to invade Syria under the justification of preventing terror, rather than aiding the rebels against Assad’s crackdown. Such a decision could become the turning point the Syrian rebels are hoping for – a foreign military intervention in their country.
Full article: Turkey blames Syria for supporting Kurdish rebels, inches closer to military action (Haaretz)