"Although Erdogan and the AKP articulated a vision that appealed to many Turks and many Kurds, it failed to transform Turkish society and resolve the conflict between Turkishness and Kurdishness. Erdogan, motivated by his own craven desire for power and political necessity, has now tacked to his nationalist right, closing off the possibility of reconciliation. In January, he declared that the PKK is 'no different than daesh,' the Arabic derogatory term for the Islamic State, and assured Turks that a resolution would come only 'after our security forces have entirely liquidated terrorists in the region'," CFR's Steven A. Cook writes for Foreign Policy.
"About five years ago, everyone was talking about the 'Turkish model.' People in the West and in the Muslim world held up Turkey as a shining example of the compatibility of Islam and democracy. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who was then prime minister and is now president, was praised as a reformist who was making his country freer, wealthier and more peaceful.
These days, I think back on those times with nostalgia and regret. The rhetoric of liberal opening has given way to authoritarianism, the peace process with the Kurdish nationalists has fallen apart, press freedoms are diminishing and terrorist attacks are on the rise," Mustafa Akyol writes for the New York Times.
"Turkey, a key member of NATO, has so far chosen to sit out the war against ISIS. Instead, it is at war with Kurdish militias in Syria, the only ground forces so far that have managed to take on ISIS and win. Turkey fears and loathes Kurdish independence anywhere in the world more than it fears and loathes anything else. Kurdish independence in Syria, from Ankara’s point of view, could at a minimum escalate a three-decades-long conflict and at worst threaten Turkey’s territorial integrity. Kurds make up between 15 and 25 percent of Turkey’s population, but no one knows for sure because the government outlaws ethnic classification," Michael J. Trotten writes for World Affairs.