Mark Collins – Turkey Update: EU, US, ISIS, Syria (Kurds), Israel

Turkey certainly has an awful lot to cope with these days–both internally and externally–and many feel beleaguered indeed:

1) EU is humiliating Turkey rather than helping: Turkish FM: ‘Despite Turkey’s years of efforts spent for becoming an EU member, Europe only threatens’ says Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said that the European Union was humiliating Ankara instead of supporting Turkey following the July 15 bloody coup attempt.

In an interview with the German daily, Bild, Çavuşoğlu said the EU only threatens Ankara despite all efforts to become a member of the 28-state bloc and obtain visa free travel. He stated the Turkish nation was “traumatized” by the failed putsch on July 15, but Europe did not stand beside them…

2) Turkey [not government] blames U.S. for coup attempt

ISTANBUL — In the wake of the weekend coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turks increasingly point to a culprit outside their country’s borders: the United States.

“It’s all America’s fault,” said Erkan Gul, 22, a sandwich shop worker. His evidence is the U.S. haven granted to Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan blames for orchestrating the failed military coup…

3) Erdoğan blames Isis for suspected suicide attack at wedding in Gaziantep: Turkish president says bombing that killed more than 50 people and wounded nearly 100 was carried out by child aged 12-14

4) Turkey announces more active role in Syria conflict: Prime minister Binali Yildirim says he wants to prevent the war-torn country being divided along ethnic lines

Turkey will take a more active role in addressing the conflict in Syria in the next six months to prevent the war-torn country being divided along ethnic lines, the prime minister, Binali Yildirim, has said.

Yildirim also said that while the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, could have a role in the interim leadership, he must play no part in its future.

Syria’s five-year conflict has taken on an ethnic dimension, with Kurdish groups carving out their own regions and periodically battling groups from Syria’s Arab majority, whose priority is to overthrow Assad.

Turkey fears the strengthening of Kurdish militant groups in Syria will further embolden its own Kurdish insurgency, which flared anew following the collapse of a ceasefire between militants and the state last year.

“Turkey will be more active in the Syria issue in the coming six months as a regional player. This means to not allow Syria to be divided on any ethnic base; for Turkey this is crucial,” Yildirim said…

5) Turkish parliament approves deal ending rift with Israel [one opportunity knocking for those who feel the need of friends]

Turkey’s parliament approved a reconciliation agreement signed with Israel in June which has brought to an end a six-year rift between the two regional powers, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday [Aug 20]…

Both countries are to appoint ambassadors under an agreement which is partly driven by the prospect of lucrative Mediterranean gas deals.

The accord, signed on June 28, was a rare rapprochement in the divided Middle East, also driven by mutual fears over growing security risks. Two weeks afterwards more than 240 people were killed in an attempted coup in Turkey…


Turkey Through the Magnificent Mirror of the Sublime Erdogan

Mark Collins, a prolific Ottawa blogger, is a Fellow at the Canadian Global Affairs Institute; he tweets @Mark3Ds


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