Turkey’s stance over Ayn el-Arab/Kobani

While riots by Kurds erupt in Turkey and all over Europe, in regard to apparent Turkish indifference to the plight of Kobani, the Turkish government is unmoved.

The Iraqi Kurds had created a “crisis that wasn’t”, from of the Yazidi situation, and managed to swing Western public opinion enough to create an unlikely alliance against ISIS, albeit restricted to a (potentially ineffective) air war. The US/Israeli/UK ties with the Kurds irritates the Turkish government. Should such ties be so important to the US, then according to the Turks, it is for the US to put armed forces on the ground to supplement air strikes and deal with ISIS.

There is also the question that the Syrian Kurdish rebel group, the PKK, is still listed as a terrorist organisation by NATO which is why Abdullah Öcalan, the PKK’s leader still languishes in a Turkish jail.

More generally, the Turkish government feels let down over the US volte-face over the question of the removal of Assad, as well as in regard to US backing for the coup in Egypt, which latter set of events Erdogan feels particularly aggrieved about. In fact, Turkey’s support for the Arab Spring across the board, has been almost totally upended by the Obama administration. Is it surprising then that Turkey is both insisting on dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s before agreeing to move in any direction, as well as extracting a large price for any prospective involvement on its part, given everything that has happened?