Turkey has been increasing military pressure on Afrin during the past week in order to accomplish two main goals. First is threatening the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara directly associates with the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). Ankara has been aiming to expel the SDF and YPG from the
Divisions within the Turkish security apparatus have intensified after the failed coup attempt in July 2016, forming three main factions. They have competing priorities on Syria and Iraq, and tensions between them are spilling over into Turkey’s internal and external security conduct.
Turkey’s controversial constitutional referendum to strengthen the presidency passed amid widely documented voter fraud on 16 April, leaving President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with visibly eroded legitimacy. While much international commentary has so far interpreted the fraud as “business as usual,” believing that Erdogan can strong-arm the opposition and bureaucracy to accept the referendum result, Horizon
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan brought Sinjar to the public’s attention in late October by stating that Turkey would not allow it to turn into a “new Qandil for the PKK,” in reference to the PKK’s base in northern Iraq. Following the victory of the alliance of Kurdish factions in liberating Sinjar from the Islamic State
The arrests of nine senior HDP members – including the party’s two charismatic co-chairs, Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag – marks a new, more confrontational phase in Turkey’s Kurdish conflict. Four hours after the arrests, a car bomb was detonated near the Diyarbakir police headquarters, where four of the MPs were being held. Identifying the
The 15 July failed coup attempt has been a watershed in Ankara’s policy over transnational Kurdish politics in Syria, Iraq and Turkey itself. Although the coup was expected to cripple the Turkish military by creating a significant institutional trust problem and disrupting the chain of command after more than 160 generals were detained, it appears
Ankara has officially downplayed the extent of the purges that followed the failed coup on 15 July, claiming that only 1.5% of the military has been dismissed. Yet these figures require perspective: when assessed by rank, dishonorable charges at the brigadier general and rear admiral ranks is almost 50%, and 37% at the colonel level.
The chairman of the KCK (Group of Communities in Kurdistan) and the de facto leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, PKK, Cemil Bayik recently gave an interview to Firat News Agency to discuss a range of issues including 15 July coup attempt, outlook for the Kurdish peace process and PKK’s short-term strategy.
Cemil Bayik’s main
Among its many other repercussions, the failed military coup of 15-16 July has gutted the Turkish military’s efforts to fight the PKK. The commanders of the 2nd Army, 2nd and 7th Main Airbase, 54th and 70th Mechanized Infantry Brigades and 2nd and 49th Commando Brigades, as well as those of almost all of the bases
On 7 June a roadside car bomb was detonated in central Istanbul while a police bus passed by, killing seven policemen and four civilian bystanders. The incident took place in the historic district next to Istanbul University, which is a main tourist area. The TAK claimed responsibility for the bombing, marking their 11th attack since