Turkey gets backing from Nato
The Nato partners on Tuesday promised to support Ankara in the "fight against terrorism". There was no official criticism of the controversial attacks on PKK targets. Nato is allowing itself to be used by Turkey, commentators criticise, seeing clear domestic motives behind the anti-terror campaign of the Turkish president.
Turkey using Nato for its dirty work
Nato failed to discuss Turkey's attacks on PKK targets at its meeting, criticises the website of the public broadcaster tagesschau.de: "[Nato Secretary General Jens] Stoltenberg did not say a word to differentiate between which attacks Nato would support and which it wouldn't. This is a carte blanche that will make it easier for the Turkish president, intent on preserving his power, to use brute force against political opponents inside and outside Turkey. … Erdoğan will use any means to prevent an independent Kurdish state, which would give his political opponents a boost. Now he's using Nato to do his dirty work and Nato is playing along. The bait: Turkey's surprising turnaround in the fight against the 'Islamic State'. But it's implausible that Turkey has turned into an IS opponent overnight."
Erdoğan exploiting fight against PKK
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan officially declared the end of the peace process with the Kurds on Tuesday. For him, the fight against the PKK is a political manoeuvre, explains the liberal-conservative daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung: "The moderate forces [among the Kurds] are now under double pressure: from the Kurdish hardliners and from the state. Erdoğan is already threatening the politicians of the pro-Kurdish opposition HDP with reprisals should they have ties to 'terrorist groups'. For the president the whole situation is quite tempting. In a new atmosphere of violence and surging nationalism he can position himself as the strongman. If the coalition talks in Turkey fail as expected and new elections are held, Erdoğan hopes to win back votes for his AKP that went to the right wing rivals in the last elections. He knows that even if he can't beat the PKK using military force, he can at least use it to achieve his political goals."
AKP clinging to power
The ruling AKP is looking to regain its government majority by fighting the terrorist group "Islamic State" and the PKK, Mustafa Balbay, a columnist and MP for the opposition party CHP, writes in the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet: "The AKP is doing everything conceivable to avoid surrendering power. More than anything else this includes its fight against terror. The basic philosophy behind this fight is that no matter where it comes from, what the goal is, or who is waging it, we are against any kind of terror! Naturally the government has a primary responsibility after the latest terrorist attacks not to complain and exploit the events, but to find those responsible. … The AKP however would prefer to ignore the results of the June 7 election and carry out new ones instead. … The parliament, including the sound-minded MPs of the AKP, must put an end to this game."
Washington needs Ankara and the Kurds
The US government on Tuesday recognised the Turkish air strikes against the PKK as an act of self-defence and described the PKK as an aggressor. This stance will put Washington in a dilemma, the liberal daily Phileleftheros warns: "It was very important for the Americans to have a strong partner against the jihadists. If it wasn't for the Kurds the jihadists would be occupying far more territory than they are now. This has made the Kurds a strong player in the bitter conflicts in the Middle East. They feel stronger now and ready to push to establish a state of their own. … If the conflict between the Kurds and the Turks escalates the US will be in the difficult position of having to decide which side to back. Washington is in a huge dilemma. The Americans need Turkey, but they also need the Kurds."