Successive attacks in Eastern Turkey raise safety concerns

Successive attacks in Eastern Turkey raise safety concerns

Ankara, August 19, 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Manolis Kostidis

What are Erdogan’s plans and what is going on with security in the country?

After the failed coup attempt against the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the government of Binali Yildirim the question that remains is where things are heading in Turkey, primarily in regard to security.

The “war” against the Islamic order of Imam Fethullah Gulen has taken great dimensions as Ankara marks him as a terrorist and his entire order as a terrorist organisation. Tens of thousands of civil servants are being prosecuted, accused of being affiliated with Gulen and having some kind of involvement in the attempted coup.

Within this framework of purges and persecutions the Turkish president has taken an unprecedented decision and closed all military schools of the country, causing a huge gap in the training of military personnel and in the entire structure of the Turkish Armed Forces. What’s more, hundreds of officers are being removed from the Armed Forces with the accusation of having participated in the coup attempt and for being affiliated with Gulen. Prime Minister Binali Yildirim has announced that nearly 80-90% of graduates of military academies had relations with this Muslim order! This assumption is perhaps considered excessive, but based on this the Turkish government has begun the effort of the re-founding of the army.

At the same time, because of the attempted coup there is big suspicion against the army, resulting in no power of the Turkish armed forces taking part so far in the fighting against the PKK, while the gendarmerie leaves the control of the General Staff and is placed under the Ministry of Interior.

Experienced analysts estimate that these changes have caused a huge gap in the eastern provinces of Turkey and the facts confirm them. In recent weeks almost every day a major attack is carried out by the PKK, mainly with vehicles trapped with explosives. In Diyarbakir seven people were killed, in Van three, while the big attack that took place in the police station of the city of Elazig killed 5 and wounded 217 people.

“Behind the terrorist attacks of the PKK is the terrorist organization Fethullah (FETÖ), Erdogan stated, giving the impression of the cooperation of the two organizations.

The question is how quickly the Turkish government can trust the armed forces to exit their camps and begin to control the border, the prefects and participate in operations against the PKK.

Each passing day is against the security of the country, causing the concern of many experienced staff who have given battled against the terrorist organizations. The police forces who trusts the government today is not enough to tackle the problem of terrorism in such a large and rugged territory.

Also, the ruling AKP coalition with the CHP and the MHP Nationalists in favor of democracy and against the coup is a positive step. But the exclusion of the Kurds (HDP) raises questions about the future of the Kurdish issue in Turkey.

However, the climate of reconciliation Erdogan has initiated with his political opponents within the country is an unexpected but welcome step. Turkey needs similar efforts on many issues in order to tackle the terrorism of FETÖ, PKK, ISIS.

Also his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin was one of the steps one would not expect of Erdogan, as the Turkish president has decided to make a turn in his country’s foreign policy. No one could have imagined that the Ankara-Moscow rapprochement could have happened so quickly. The coup attempt seems to have accelerated developments, with the Turkish president looking for allies.

Along this path is also the rapprochement agreement with Israel, which was adopted a few days ago by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Turkish Parliament.

Now political analysts predict big changes in Ankara’s policy on Syria, again with impressive moves by Erdogan…