Within the Month: Turkey deals with turmoil

Written 31 March 2016

This is for the month of April 2016.

Turkey has been besieged for nearly a year now. With a hot civil war still raging in Syria, an insurgency in its southeast, and a series of terrorist attacks from both ISIS and the Kurds which have killed dozens of people, Turkey has no doubt had a lot to deal with. Add to that a Russia which is attempting to encircle the country and a Europe which is pressing for it to do more with the refugee crisis, and the pressure mounts for Erdogan. Had it been another type of leader, Turkey would have surely collapsed by now, but Erdogan has managed to weather the storm.

And the storm continues. There is constant talk of imminent terrorist attacks, and news of terrorist cells being busted. With three million refugees and a hot insurgency taking place in the country, it is a wonder that there have not been more attacks. However, the cracks are beginning to appear, and Erdogan must take action to save the unity of the country. That is why we will likely see a resurgent Turkey in April 2016.

With Russia claiming to be out of Syria (although it clearly maintains a robust presence), this threat has become less prominent for Turkey. The Jarablus Corridor which some in US circles and within Turkey have been trying to implement is still likely a pipe-dream, at least as far as a Turkish stronghold in Northern Syria goes. Instead, what you will see is a competition between ISIS, the opposition, and the Kurds over this area. Turkey is going to continue helping the opposition gain control of this area.

The Kurdish problem for Turkey will be the main open wound that it will seek to mend, and the Jarablus Corridor is related to this. Turkey will continue to crack down on the PKK as it attempts to mend relations in areas where the situation has been brought under control. But as the conflict in Northern Syria intensifies, relations between Turkey and America will further sour. US support of the Kurds in Syria is a sore spot in relations and one which will continue to be highlighted, and may even cause some harsh exchanges.

Meanwhile, Turkey will begin to look for solutions to its refugee crisis, something which is becoming a national security threat considering that most of the terrorists in recent attacks are either Syrian nationals or fought in Syria in some capacity. Building a wall much like Trump’s may become a solution, and one that is implemented on the borders with Kurdish areas. However, the crux of this advance will be towards Europe, whereby the Turks will likely seek greater cooperation with the refugee issue, whether it be actual funding or commitments to security.

As Turkey’s crisis deepens, so will its burgeoning authoritarianism. As the Turkish people become ever more concerned of the country’s worsening national security dilemma, Erdogan’s popularity will grow. Critics are likely to face a severe beatdown, something which will actually be approved in non-liberal circles. The country will rally around Erdogan as he tackles some of the issues facing the country.

Great Analytical Post. First blog tilted towards the Turkish Premier.

Thank you. I am not supporting or opposing any politician though.