The Policy Issues that Turkey Struggles With

By Scott Morgan

The recent attack on the airport in Istanbul can be seen as evidence of just how frail security is in Turkey.  The problem is most analysts will have a knee jerk reaction in stating what are the root causes of the tensions that affect the country.

The initial reaction is to focus on the Southeastern Part of the Country. This is where the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) has their powerbase. After the collapse of Peace Talks between the Government and the PKK tensions have gradually risen. This highlights one area of concern with the Foreign Policy of Turkey. It does not have one strategy when dealing with the Kurds.

It has used Airpower and Special Forces to support the Syrian Kurds that have taken up arms against Bashir al-Assad. It has sent troops and planes into Northern Iraq to attack PKK bases for one moment and to attack ISIL the next.  One can also use the same type of logic when it comes to relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv. From Allies - who conducted joint exercises to sending ships to Gaza to supply the Hamas led enclave - to a status of Frenemies approaching rapprochement there is a schizophrenic aspect to Turkish Policy.

There are domestic issues that represent a concern. The Erdogan Government played Hardball with Brussels when it came to the Migrants fleeing atrocities committed in both Syria and in Iraq. It sent Police armed with tear gas and water cannons to break up an LGBT Rally being held to show solidarity with the victims of the recent Orlando Terrorist Attack.  It has seized most of the viable Independent Media Outlets as well, meaning any news that is released will be carefully orchestrated by the Government.

There is another wrinkle in this little drama: Turkey is also playing host to at least four leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood (Sudan, Egypt, Jordan and Libya) and treating them as special guests. The current Turkish Government did have excellent relations with the Morsi Government while it was in charge in Egypt. Turkey even provided Financial Assistance to the cash strapped Egyptian Government.
The Erdogan Government has been walking a fine line. It plays the West and the Gulf States off against each other and has used both the Kurdish Struggle and the Migrant Crisis as cards to play. It has used similar tactics against Israel too. Machiavelli would be proud of Erdogan.

[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society]


  1. *sigh* We were following the news about the coup in Turkey and there was something fishy about it like Erdogan himself orchestrated it so he can have more power and gain sympathy. I'm afraid that Turkey is becoming more of an islamic state and I fear for my LGBT brothers and sisters there.

  2. Erdogan has a huge policy problem so much so he felt the need to stage a coup just to form the Turkey of his dreams. How pathetic is that? I almost feel sorry for the secular folks there but again they are so ambiguous I can't help but to think they deserve what's happening to them.


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