Turkey now fighting its own civil war as the Muslim world continues to imp[ode

Business Insider:

Turkey has struggled with the consequences of the destructive civil war in neighbouring Syria. Now, the Turkish army is shelling the ancient center of one of the country’s major cities, partially as a result of how the Syria conflict has impacted Turkey’s long-running Kurdish insurgency.

Ankara’s stance against the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has put it at odds with both Iran and Russia.

Moreover, the Russian intervention in Syria brought Turkey and Russia to the brink of open conflict this past November when Turkey shot down a Russian plane that had allegedly strayed into the country’s airspace.

But the Syria conflict’s real danger to Turkey is playing out within its own borders, particularly in a city of nearly 1 million people on the banks of the Tigris River in Turkey’s southeast.

Diyarbakir includes a UNESCO-listed historic quarter surrounded by nearly 3.5 miles of thick Roman-era city walls. It’s also one of the region’s largest majority-Kurdish cities.

Today, the old city’s Sur district is a warzone, with militants affiliates with the autonomy-seeking Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) fighting the Turkish military.
Screen Shot 2016 02 25 at 8.11.11 PMGoogle MapsLocation of Diyarbakir

The fighting is the latest chapter in an over 30-year-old conflict between the Turkish state and the country’s historically marginalized Kurdish minority.

As Deutsche Wellereported in January, thousands of people have fled the old city area, where water and electricity had been cut off.

This looks like a replay of how the Syrian civil war started.  The self-destruction of its own cities suggests a regime that is frightened of its own people who are dissatisfied with current policies.

Turkey has been poorly run ever since it elected an Islamist government.  It needs to return to its secular roots if it is going to stop the implosion.  Right now Turkey is probably the lousiest ally in NATO that appears to be more supportive of ISIL than the people fighting ISIL.


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