Wednesday, October 8, 2014
It must be very difficult waking up each morning if you are the President or PM of Turkey. Part of you wants to be part of the EU and NATO, enjoying imagined benefits of belonging to such august bodies, while another deeper urge propels you towards being a more significant part of the 'Islamic world.' When you look east you see a region fraught with division (Some would say the same re the west!)where political intrigue and power struggles, underlined by those who use religion to fuel the hate. Add the internal division within Turkey itself, and you would wonder why you ever entered politics, but that thought is quickly put aside as you are no different to other leaders or politicians re your love of power. You ponder the problem of the Kurds, a people who inhabit parts of your country and those bordering Turkey. That they have fought for their own state and continue to exert pressure within Turkey just fogs the issue re the 'new boy on the block,' the so-called ISIS which goes under various labels. It is the latter that threatens the peace on your borders as hundreds of thousands of citizens of Iraq and Syria seek to find safety within your nation. You have a sickening feeling that this group, ISIS is different. It has been suggested that they are partially funded by nations who on the surface say they are aligned to Turkey. they also garner resources through criminal activities and then use these to slowly create a web of terror that their self-appointed leader claims will be a 'Caliphate that stretches from the Euphrates to the Atlantic.' Your choices to meet this threat are limited. Do you thrown the might of the not insignificant Turkish armed forces into the fray that exists just over your eastern border or do you simply close up and let the ISIS takeover the region? You could of course let loose the huge numbers of Kurds who wish to join the fight to save their kindred fighters and relations. You could even supply arms, via other 'friendly' nations, but that could cause elements within Turkey who share the beliefs of the ISIS fighters and that is an area you do not wish ton enter. One thing for sure is that you cannot wait and observe for much longer or the decision will be made for you as your own Kurdish citizens take matters into their own hands. So you have a 'balancing ac' to consider. It comes down to choosing the pathway that causes the least danger to Turkey. One gets the feeling that you are waiting to see if the 'coalition forces, re their bombing, starts to make a difference. Then you will probably unleash the ground troops, massed on the border opposite Kobane. I di not envy the position you are in. However, this may be your chance to reach out to a large portion of your population and if you go the way that includes their wishes, it is only the beginning of a new direction in the history of Turkey; one that is more inclusive. Good luck!