Going to war to crush DemirtaI?

When Turkey announced it would begin strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) the authorities never explicitly stated that they would only target ISIL. In fact, when the campaign was announced by Ahmet Davutoilu he said, and”Turkey cannot stand by as Kurdish, leftist and ISIL militants target Turkey. andhellip We will take the necessary measures against whoever constitutes a threat to our border.and”
I do not like conspiracy theories, but unfortunately it seems the main aim of Turkeyand’s new ISIL policy has less to do with ISIL, and more to do with political power. The success of Selahattin Demirtaiand’ Pro-Kurdish Peoplesand’ Democratic Party (HDP) in the June 7 parliamentary elections, with the party passing Turkeyand’s high 10 percent electoral threshold to enter Parliament, was bad news for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). It prevented the AKP from forming a fourth single-party government while also crushing Erdoganand’s dream of creating an executive presidency that would have given him unprecedented powers. So Erdogan had to recalculate.
Turkey still has no new government. Coalition talks have yet to produce a deal. If they do not, there will be early elections. For the AKP to stand a chance of returning to single-party governance they need to remove the main obstacle — Demirtai. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that Demirtai has been explicitly accused of being in cahoots with the upsurge of violence by the Kurdistan Workersand’ Party (PKK). While the AKP has done more to seek a solution to the Kurdish problem than any other government, ultimately it seems the settlement process has become hostage to a struggle for political power that is apparently more important than Turkeyand’s security and stability. Developments related to Syria — particularly Ankaraand’s initial refusal to help the Kurds in Kobani due to the involvement of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is viewed by Turkey as an extension of the PKK, along with the bitterly fought election campaign that saw Erdoganand’s narrative take on a very ugly tone vis-andagrave-vis Demirtai — have raised tensions in the Southeast. The PKK blamed the Turkish government and its ISIL policy for the recent terrorist attack in Suruandc, leading to the PKK killing two police officers. Erdogan is trying to pin all of this violence on Demirtai. For the PKK too, the demise of Demirtai would not be a bad thing because the PKK has been losing its position in the Kurdish question to the HDP. If the HDP is discredited enough, they may fail to pass the 10 percent threshold in the election that will take place if a coalition is not formed. However, there is also the possibility that the security situation in Turkey may be used as an excuse to postpone early elections until 2016, allowing the AKP government to remain in power.
While fighting ISIL allows Turkey to go after the PKK and blame Demirtai for the fallout, at the same time Ankara probably does want to shore up ties with the US due to concerns over the increasingly friendly cooperation between Washington and the PYD. Washington has included PYD fighters as spotters in its air campaign against ISIL, and a PYD official was invited to sit in the operations room in Arbil in northern Iraq. This worries Turkey. Ankara also continues to fear that the PYDand’s ultimate goal is to create an autonomous canton next to Turkeyand’s border, which would be viewed as a threat to Turkeyand’s national unity and that ever closer ties with Washington may facilitate.
Turkeyand’s security is entering a period of high risk. Until recently Turkey has had a more or less and”open doorand” policy with foreign fighters having easy access to Syria via Turkey. The Turkish authorities have allowed ISIL and other jihadist group insurgents to integrate themselves into Turkeyand’s infrastructure. There are reportedly thousands of sleeping terrorist cells throughout the country. Again, until recently, the Turkish authorities hardly lifted a finger to close down the thousands of websites full of ISIL propaganda. Why did the Turkish authorities not take measures to crack down on ISIL earlier?
ISIL will engage in acts of revenge for Turkeyand’s airstrikes. Terrorist attacks, including suicide bombs in built-up areas in particular, and highly populated tourist spots are likely. We have witnessed the tragic consequences of such an attack in Tunisia. When this is combined with the derailed Kurdish settlement process and increased violence and attacks from the PKK, the security situation looks very worrying indeed.