The war raging in neighboring Syria and Iraq continues to destabilize Turkey as spillover violence and increased fighting with the Kurds risks plunging the country into deeper instability.
“Turkey is the new target of the proxy wars, especially when the latest developments in north Syria and southeastern Anatolia are taken into consideration,” Prof. Mehmet Seyfettin Erol, head of the Center for International Strategy and Security Studies at Ankara’s Gazi University told The Jerusalem Post, on Tuesday.
“The PKK terrorist organization appears to be responsible for this terrorist attack in Istanbul,” he asserted, referring to the Kurdish group active in Turkey and bordering Iraq. He added that some actors are using terrorism to try to influence Turkey’s domestic and foreign policies.
Asked if the latest bombing would push the government to increase military operations in the southeastern Kurdish area, Erol responded, “All these developments’ main aim is to force Turkey into a military intervention in north Syria.”
“Turkey is aware of this dangerous game. So, Ankara is taking steps carefully,” he added.
Dr. Aykan Erdemir, a member of the Turkish parliament from 2011 to 2015, and a senior fellow at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Post that this is the third large-scale bomb attack in Istanbul’s tourist districts within the last six months.