Erdogan doesn't fully support the eradication of jihadist groups in Syria. The reason is simple: the Arab and Turkmen Islamist groups are the main bulwark against the expansion of the de facto autonomous Kurdish enclave in northern Syria. Thus, Erdogan tries hard after each ISIS attack to create a "generic" threat of terrorism in which all groups are bundled up together without any clear references to ISIS. He is trying to present the PKK as enemy number one.
ISTANBUL -- Turkey's downing of a Russian military jet will help little in improving this much strained relationship. But it can clarify the basic political tensions which Turkey's Turkish and Kurdish politicians need to come to terms with, and get over, if they want to forge a new mode of coexistence inside Turkey's borders.
Turks denied their increasingly autocratic regime the ability to rule by decree earlier this Summer. But a do-over election, following a brutal anti-Kurd and anti-opposition media campaign, shows that President Erdogan and his allies will stop at nothing to win, even if it means killing democracy along with Turks and Kurds who cross the majority party.
ISTANBUL -- The three ISIS attacks in Turkey in the past four months are reflections of the war in northern Syria between ISIS and secular Kurdish forces. The bombing in Ankara shows that ISIS is a major threat not just in the ever-tense southeastern cities, but even now in the very capital of the country. And yet in the pro-government media, there is an ideological insistence on seeing ISIS as a transient phenomenon -- not as an actor in itself but as a "pawn" of a giant Western conspiracy aimed at destabilizing the region and weakening Turkey.