Turkey used to be one of the few “safer” more stable regions in the Middle East, but that has changed. Yesterday’s car bomb attack on a police bus in Istanbul demonstrates that.
The separatist militant Kurdish group, the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK) is suspected to be behind the attack. This week’s bombing was similar to the incidents in Ankara of January and March of last year.
The Turkish president will likely use this incident to his advantage.
“President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will probably approve the lifting of immunity against the 50 pro-Kurdish members of parliament to facilitate criminal prosecutions against them and potentially dislodge them from their seats. He will also use this tragedy to impress on Turkish voters that Kurdish and Islamist militancy can only be thwarted by transforming Turkey from a parliamentary system into a powerful executive presidency,” writes CNN.com.
Erdogan’s domestic and foreign policies is dividing the country. He wants to instate a single religious identity based on Sunni Islam in a country that is ethnically diverse.
Not to mention, he has diminished Turkey’s relationships with other countries. The hostile relations with Russia, Iran, and Israel have contributed to the 3 million migrants that have entered the country.
The United States and Europe aren’t friends with Turkey’s leader either. “Erdogan’s crucial relations with the U.S. are testy and have become increasingly transactional and less strategic. These relations have been complicated by the U.S. refusal to cease cooperation with the PKK-affiliated Peoples’ Protections Units (YPG) against the ISIS,” writes CNN.com.
Erdogan has bluntly disapproved of the EU migration deal and has demanded more concessions. The EU will be giving the country billions for taking in refugees. “Under the ‘one in, one out’ deal, Syrians who cross into Greece illegally will be sent back to Turkey. For every Syrian sent back to Turkey, a vetted Syrian refugee will go from Turkey to Europe to be resettled,” writes CNN.com.
Erdogan has also been known for his controversial remarks. He has criticized women who aren’t mothers and recommended that a woman has at least three children because that is their purpose. On a similar note, he called upon Muslins to stop using contraception.
With all this being said, Turkey’s poor leadership is only adding fuel to fire in the Middle East. If drastic changes aren’t made on the domestic and foreign policy, along with political and economic front, the country will only continue to fall into a state of chaos like several of the other Middle Eastern countries.
It’s also frightening to think that Turkey is a NATO partner and has access to nuclear weapons.