Turkey’s Kurdish Buffer

The rise of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, or IS or ISIS, in conjunction with the civil wars in Syria and Iraq, has put more pressure on both Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Kurds to work together. The Kurdish people are spread throughout Syria, Iraq, and Turkey. Before 2003, Kurds would have resisted working the Turkish government, which they regarded as oppressive. Kurdish enclaves in Syria and Iraq are sandwiched between Turkish- and ISIS-ruled territories, and Ankara may be the best option for an ally. “In today’s Middle East ISIS is a bigger threat to the Turks than Kurdish independence in Iraq,” reports Soner Cagaptay for Foreign Affairs, predicting that if the Iraqi Kurdish regional government declares independence, Turkey could be the first state to recognize it.. “Erdogan will try to keep Turkish Kurds happy while building deeper security ties with the Iraqi and Syrian Kurds, which Turkey will guarantee de facto autonomy.” – YaleGlobal

Turkey's Kurdish Buffer

Erdogan is ready to work with the Kurds; long-time foes, now see eye to eye on threat of the Islamic State, ISIS
Soner Cagaptay
Thursday, July 17, 2014

Soner Cagaptay is Beyer Family Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and author of “Rise of Turkey: The Twenty First-Century’s First Muslim Power.”

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