Turkey convenes Nato meeting
At the request of Ankara Nato members will meet today, Tuesday, to discuss Turkey's conflicts with the IS and the PKK. The main question will be whether and how the alliance partners can provide support. Commentators warn that Ankara must not be allowed to treat the Kurds and the IS equally as enemies but doubt that the Nato partners will give this much consideration.
Ankara's fight against PKK not legitimate
The Americans and Europeans must make it clear to Ankara that the demands of the PKK are in no way comparable with the atrocities committed by the IS, urges the daily newspaper La Libre Belgique: "The fact that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's regime is combining its operations against the IS with a large-scale offensive against the Kurdish Workers' Party PKK proves that by showing understanding for the IS and even accommodating it, Turkey was hoping to pitch the Islamists and Kurds against each other in a prolonged war. … But you can't compare the PKK's legitimate demands with the terrible crimes and attacks committed by the IS in the Middle East. And the Americans and Europeans must make that clear to Ankara as soon as possible. In the name of the democratic values they profess. But also to avoid losing the support they need from the Kurds in the fight against the Islamist threat."
Nato will forget Kurds' efforts
Nato members are convening for an emergency meeting at the request of Turkey this Tuesday. They will discuss the country's recent air strikes against the IS and the Kurds. The Kurds will be the losers in the end, journalist Mircea Barbu writes on the blog of the liberal conservative daily Adevărul: "No one at the meeting will point out that most of the Turkish strikes targeted Kurdish bases in Syria and Iraq. The very bases that prevented IS expansion when no other government in the region wanted to engage in the fight. … The US certainly won't raise the issue; it's happy to see someone else taking the reins in this never-ending conflict. And the Iraqi Kurdish politicians don't want an independent Kurdistan representing joint interests and principles in the region. … In exchange for the deployment of the biggest Nato armies in Syria, the international community will forget the Kurds' efforts and the blatant violations of human rights in Syria and Iraq will be allowed to go unpunished."
Erdoğan wants to stoke anti-Kurdish sentiment
Despite all appearances Ankara hasn't changed its strategy against Islamist terror, the liberal Newsweek Polska magazine argues: "Turkey has always behaved passively towards the IS and al-Qaeda in Syria - almost as if it had an informal non-aggression pact with them. Erdoğan may now be allowing the Americans to use an airport after having turned down Washington's requests to do so up to now. … But has Erdoğan really reached the conclusion that jihad represents a major threat? No. Because Turkey has launched a major offensive against the Kurds at the same time. … Erdoğan has only half joined the US in the fight against the IS to stop the Americans interfering in Turkey's conflict with the Kurds. … We can expect the following scenario: anti-Kurdish resentment in Turkey will start growing again, the [pro-Kurdish] HDP will fail to gain any parliamentary seats in new elections and the AKP will emerge as the definitive winner."
HDP must confront PKK
The leader of the Turkish pro-Kurdish HDP party, Selahattin Demirtaş, on Monday accused the Turkish government of having halted the peace process with its military strikes against the PKK. The HDP must now clearly distance itself from PKK violence in order to save this process between Ankara and the Kurds, explains the conservative daily Hürriyet: "The warlords [of the PKK] want to maintain their own totalitarian rule. This makes the resistance by the Kurdish movement's leftist and liberal intelligence important. The HDP parliamentarians who don't support the PKK's course, as well as the Kurdish democrats, are morally obliged to counter the pressure [of the PKK] in the Qandil region. It must be made clear to the Kurds in Qandil and the KCK [the military arm of the PKK] that weapons aren't the solution. To prevent a disaster like that in Syria and put the derailed peace process back on track the HDP must seek cooperation."