Tehran, Aug 10, IRNA – Turkey’s recent foreign policy underwent extensive changes which seem to be stemming from developments in the Middle East.
In an article by Mohammad Ali Mohtadi on its Monday edition, the Tehran-based English newspaper, Iran Daily wrote, Turkey has been supporting the ISIL and other terrorist groups in recent years and did not take part in the so-called US-led coalition against the ISIL.
The policy continued until the country witnessed Kurds’ substantial progress in Turkey’s southern borders which drastically limited terrorists’ access to Turkish frontier.
The Turkish government became concerned about Kurds’ gains and carried out airstrikes on them.
In fact, Kurds’ progress was supported by the US which intended to prompt Turkey to join the international coalition against the ISIL.
Turkey had been reluctant to join the US-led alliance but in mid-July it allowed the US to use its Incirlik Air Base to launch airstrikes in Syria.
At the same time, Turkey said it will not take any measure against the ISIL and used the pretext to wage a war against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The change is feared to cost an arm and a leg for the country because of possible terror attacks by the ISIL and the PKK inside Turkey.
Recently, a series of deadly bomb attacks took place in Turkey including the one that ripped through a police station in a historic area of Istanbul.
Such retaliatory attacks by the ISIL and the PKK entail the risk of unrest and chaos.
Furthermore, Turkey is highly dependent on its tourism revenues and if terrorist attacks target tourist attractions in Istanbul and Antalya, tourists will no more travel to the country and it will deal a great blow to the country’s economy.
In addition, some 20 million Kurds reside in Turkey and the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has 80 seats in the parliament. The HDP seeks to solve problems peacefully and opposes military operations.
Turkey has violated Iraq and Syria’s territorial integrity by carrying out attacks on the PKK, drawing strong reactions from Baghdad and Damascus.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is facing difficult conundrum.The recent parliamentary elections suggest that the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had its worst result in 10 years.
Erdogan has to form a coalition which might lead to snap elections during which it is not clear whether the AKP or the HDP will obtain the majority of votes.
Anyhow, it seems that Turkey is confronted with several political and security problems.