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August 2, 2015

Weekend Roundup: Turkey Enters the Syrian Quagmire to Fight ISIS -- And the Kurds

Weekend Flags Getty/WorldPost Illustration

The Syrian quagmire, in which both the Islamic State and the Kurds have been fighting for territory, has now sucked in Turkey. Last week's ISIS attack on Turkish soil, Kurdish gains along the Syrian border and the surprise advance of the secular and liberal pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party in recent elections -- which clipped the parliamentary majority of President Erdoğan's neo-Islamist ruling party -- have conjoined into an explosive state of affairs.

To boot, NATO, which is obliged to defend a member state under siege, has now been drawn into a three-way fray in which Turkey is lashing out at both the Kurdish resistance and ISIS.

Writing from Istanbul, Behlül Özkan ominously foresees "Armageddon" descending on the region. Mustafa Akyol, also writing from the shores of the Bosphorus, argues that Erdoğan's assault on the Kurds in tandem with ISIS is aimed at bolstering his nationalist credentials at home in order to block the HDP, which stands in the way of his autocratic vision. (continued)

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