Friday, July 03, 2015

When Politics Crosses the Border's Edge?

Is Turkey seriously considering military intervention in Syria to bolster the government's popularity?

Years ago, Turkey issued an ultimatum to Assad to stop killing his people. That was never enforced even as the bloodshed skyrocketed and jihadis flocked to Syria.

Yet the fear of a Kurdish state in Syria is prompting an effort to set up a buffer zone along part of the border inside Syria?

It may actually be internal politics that is paving the way for a short and glorious military action:

Domestically, the outcome of the Turkish election of June 7 has seriously scrambled Turkish politics. After nearly 13 years in power, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its absolute majority in parliament. The AKP, which still holds a plurality of seats in parliament, has 45 days to form a government with at least one of the minority parties. But it seems clear that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has very little interest in coalition government. The leaders of the two main opposition parties, the nationalist Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and the center-left Republican Peoples Party (CHP), have both demanded the re-opening of corruption cases against the AKP. Erdoğan may fear that those corruption cases may eventually touch even his family.

Just threatening an invasion might be enough to rally people to Erdogan's side, in this view.

However, the second part of the article--that Turkey wants America to view Turkey as the most important player rather than the Kurds--can't be achieved with words. If that was possible, the ultimatum would have done the job.

So having started on this path, can Turkey halt where Erdogan safely wishes or will events push him across the border?