Jihadists or PKK the objective?
By Manolis Kostidis – Ankara
Ankara’s policy on the fight against the jihadists is not clear and this concerns the Kurds in the region, who are fighting fiercely to prevent their cities falling into the hands of terrorists who slaughter innocent civilians. They fear that the goal of Ankara is not help with the fighting, but its incursion into Syria to create a security zone that will prevent the presence of Kurdish rebels.
Since the release of the 49 Turkish hostages held by the ISIS, as well as after the endless pressures of Barack Obama to Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Ankara has made it clear that it will participate in the alliance against the jihadists.
The Turkish president, however, in all his speeches he mentions that “Turkey is against all terrorist organizations. Both ISIS and the PKK”.
The Army does not consider the jihadists to be the real threat, but PKK!
“There are rumors that the turkish army is annoyed by the unhindered operation of PKK and PYD. In Ankara there are rumors that the Head of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces, Netznet Ozel, wants to invade Syria. The Turkish army does not consider ISIS as the real threat, but the PKK”, says the political analyst of Milliyet, Aslı Aydıntaşbaş.
Information from the Turkish capital says that the Turkish government, but especially the Turkish army, are annoyed by the enhanced profile of the PKK, with what is happening in Kobani, where the PYD (an offshoot of the PKK) appears to be the only force that fights the jihadists.
At the same time, the Turkish armed forces seeing that the border between Syria and Turkey has essentially been abolished and have turned into an “unfenced vineyard”, where anyone can cross them comfortably, feel that the PKK has gained a wider operational range and this is a major threat to the territorial integrity of Turkey.
Political analyst Irfan Aktan argues that “the ruling AKP party dares not let her hand of ISIS, which has supported for so long, nor confront the Kurdish movement. The government officials believe that this is the power of diplomacy. It’s just that Turkey has little time to choose between heaven and hell”.
Creation of a neutral zone to avoid the creation of a Kurdish autonomous area inside Syria
Journalists and military analysts located in the border area between Syria and Turkey, observe that Turkey has still not paid enough attention to block the jihadists’ supply and recruiting routes from its territory.
The Turkish generals, on their updates to the political leadership, have said that there should be a buffer zone inside Syria, not necessarily to tackle the jihadists threat, but to prevent the creation of a Kurdish autonomous region in northern Syria, like that in northern Iraq, on a border line that extends to 850 km.
In the first article of the authorisation the Turkish government wants to take from Parliament, in order to participate in the fighting, says that “there are threats to our national security”, and that “in northern Iraq and in the region there are terrorist factors such as the PKK”.
Political analyst of Radikal Cengiz Candar is clear and states that “the authorisation the government wants to get from Parliament has no relation to the threat of ISIS. If the request is approved and the armed forces invade Syria, the real target will not be the war with the jihadists. Unfortunately, these decisions can open the gates to more destructive battles in relation to the past”.
Can provocation in the turkish “pocket” provide with a reason for invading?
In the last few days there are rumors that a turkish “pocket”, located within Syria, is threatened by the rebels of ISIS. Situated 50 kilometers from Turkey, within the territory of Syria, is the tomb of the father of the founder of the Ottoman dynasty Suleyman Shah.
This “pocket” is guarded by about 60 Turkish soldiers, with Ankara despite the recent hostage situation involving Turkish citizens and despite its encirclement having not issued an order for its evacuation. In Ankara there are rumors about a possible intervention of the Turkish Armed Forces in case of an attack on the grave.
However, Turkey did not react as such last June, when ISIS militants had invaded the Turkish consulate in Mosul and had taken 48 Turkish citizens and the Consul of Mozul, hostages.
For the record, at the time of the leakage of conversations of government officials of the Turkish government last February, there was a leaked conversation between the leader of the secret service MIT Xakan Fidan, Ahmet Davutoglu, who was Foreign minister at the time, and army officials.
The subject of the meeting was the developments in Syria, with Davutoglu saying that “Prime Minister (Erdogan) believes that the issue of the tomb of Shah Suleyman may be a good opportunity for intervention”.
The commander of the MIT responded and stresses that “if needed, I can send four people there to launch eight missiles against us to create a cause for war; I can cause an attack on the grave”.
The B’ Head of the Armed Forces had responded and emphasised that “what we are about to do is a clear cause of war”.
The conversation was genuine and had all admitted that it was the product of unlawful interception.