Turkey attacks IS and PKK

The Turkish army has been carrying out air strikes against the IS in Syria and the banned Kurdish Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq since Friday. At Ankara's behest Nato will convene to discuss the situation on Tuesday. Commentators call for the military alliance to adopt a clear stance vis-à-vis its member Turkey and see Turkish domestic politics behind the attacks.

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Deutschlandfunk (DE) /

Nato needs clear Turkey strategy

In the fight against the IS Nato must establish a clear stance towards its member Turkey, demands the public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk in the run-up to Tuesday's talks: "It is clearly in the interests of the alliance to fight IS. Politically speaking, Nato is not only obliged to step in to help Turkey, but Turkey must act in Nato's interests as far as possible. Nato's partners are supporting the Kurds in northern Iraq, but at the same time their positions are being attacked by Turkey. In this way the image of a united Nato is fraying at the edges. Nato needs to take action here. It has to make it clear that the fight against the IS must be fought together. Nato must stand united. But the fight must be a creative one. This terrorist gang cannot be defeated with bombs alone."

Dagens Nyheter (SE) /

Ankara playing with fire

Turkey's decision to attack the terrorist group IS as well as the PKK is highly questionable, the liberal daily Dagens Nyheter finds: "Turkey is risking a war on two fronts that is really a conflict between three parties. This could be the beginning of a regional meltdown. The Kurds, who are currently the most powerful force in the fight against IS with various militia groups on the ground, could end up being the main victims of the conflict. Turkey's balancing act, distancing itself from the IS on the one hand and fighting the Kurds on the other, risks weakening the resistance to the Islamists. Moreover it forces the US to manoeuvre between Nato member Turkey and the Kurds as its allies on the ground. Turkey has a huge responsibility to bear. The fight against the IS must not be undermined by national and party political special interests."

Tages-Anzeiger (CH) /

Erdoğan preparing for fresh elections

Turkey's attacks on PKK targets are all down to election tactics, writes the centre-left daily Tages-Anzeiger: "In the parliamentary election at the start of June the [pro-Kurd] HDP won 13 percent of the vote. This has changed the political landscape. Erdoğan's Islamic-conservative AKP has lost its absolute majority. The result of the election has plunged Turkey into a profound crisis. Erdoğan is in no hurry to share power and has dragged out the formation of a government for as long as possible. None of the opposition parties wants to partner up with the AKP - they hate it too much. The HDP rejected negotiations right from the start, and the ultra-nationalists of the MHP not much later. The biggest opposition party, the secular CHP, is in talks but doesn't really believe in an agreement. So Erdoğan is moving closer to his goal. He wants new elections. And it looks like he'll get them. Now he's preparing the climate for that scenario."

Sabah (TR) /

PKK exploiting power vacuum after election

The PKK announced on Saturday that the ceasefire that has been broadly observed since 2013 has lost its relevance in the wake of the Turkish military's attacks on PKK targets in northern Iraq. In recent days the southeast of Turkey has seen repeated attacks, for which the PKK has partly claimed responsibility. It's no coincidence that the PKK has ended the peace process while the coalition talks are underway, the pro-government daily Sabah comments: "The PKK has declared war on the state at a time when it believes there is a power vacuum in the country. This was its greatest mistake. A president elected with 52 percent of the vote is in office and dominating the process. The government that has ruled the country for years and has worked together successfully with all state players and in particular with the president is still in office, even if only temporarily. … We should not forget that we can only talk of true peace, of a real solution, in an environment free of terror and not threatened by violence."