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Walking a tight rope

Walking a tight rope

Turkey is at present facing a rare crisis which is evidently to the international political contrivance involving the US and other world nations.

The country hasn’t so far taken any harsh measures against the Islamic State, the militant group that is advancing at a rapid rate capturing large swathes of Iraq and Syria. But the US and its allies have now succeeded in pressurising Turkey to step up its role in their battle against the IS extremists. The country has been dragged into the battle against the IS militants along the Syrian border and has now granted US the permission to use two of its airbases for bombarding the militant group. Turkey has also strengthened its attacks in the Kurdish region. Kurdish insurgents on Monday launched a deadly attack in different parts of the country including the US consulate in Istanbul killing nine people and injuring several others. The country, even though, a part of the Arab Islamic countries led by the US to counter the IS militants, wasn’t actively involved in the military operations so far. But it was on Turkey’s soil that weapons and other forms of assistance were provided to the various militias who fought for toppling Syria’s autocratic leader Bashar al Assad. The country was at the forefront of aiding Jabhat Al Nusra along with other Western nations during 2012 which later came to be known as Islamic State. The calculations of the Ankara government, who had calculated a favourable political transition in Damascus, backfired due to the subsequent events. The West became more focused on uprooting IS terrorism rather than overthrowing Assad, succeeding in bringing the Arab countries to accomplish its mission. Turkey’s soft approach towards the IS was initially deemed as part of some secret agreement by the international community. The broadmindedness of the Turkish government in providing asylum to around 2 million Syrian refugees, who fled persecution from Syria following political instability, was also not appreciated enough.

Turkey has been facing the crisis of Kurd sectarianism. The government had been in ceasefire agreement with the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) that has been banned in the country for two years. It had also come forward initiating peace talks with Kurd Leader Abdullah Ocalan who is currently in prison. The country which doesn’t dance to the tunes of the US and its allies do not have envoys for countries like Syria, Yemen, Egypt, Israel and Libya in the region. It was amidst this crisis that it was literally plunged into the battlefield with other nations led by the US against Islamic State. At least 31 people were killed in a suicide bombing in the Kurdish town of Suruc along the Syrian-Turkey border where the attack was targeted at the members of socialist youth groups across the country who were meeting to prepare rebuilding projects in the Syrian city of Kobani. The Islamic Front, Free Syrian Army and People’s Protection Unit which is part of Kurdish Democratic Party are battling each other in the region. The fact that Turkey has become a battle field for different militia is creating a headache for the Ankara government. Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party which has been in a political instability since the election in June last year, is at present facing a rare crisis triggered by the never-ending problems of Syria and the threats of IS terrorism. The events indicate that one can’t possibly stay away from the political scenario scripted by the international community. India should be taking lessons from Turkey’s experiences. The foreign policies formulated under the pressure tactics also lead to grave consequences. Turkey is right now, walking a tight rope mulling over the possible threats from different terrorist militias in the coming days.

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