Murderous suicide bombings. A deadly upsurge of ethno-sectarian violence spilling over from Syria. A country whose friendship with the US and EU is increasingly fragile, and is now at daggers drawn with a historic enemy, Russia.

With another 28 people killed in the 17 February attack on Turkish soldiers in Ankara, there seems no end to Turkey’s misfortunes. Even scarier scenarios doing the rounds in the Turkish capital include talk of a 14th Russo-Turkish war, unprecedented polarisation of Turkish society and a continuation of the wave of Syrian refugees.

The time has come to focus on Turkey which, for all its troubles, remains an anchor of stability for many of today’s stressed geopolitical fault lines – between Russia and the west, the Middle East and Europe, the existing world order and a violent extremist alternative.

Some parts of Turkey’s many-fronted crisis are of its leadership’s own making. But a major intervention by Turkey’s friends is needed to reverse the vicious cycle dragging it down, whether through high-level joint visits, financial support for refugees or action on the ground. On the western side, at least, Turkey, the US and Europe’s true interests lie where they always really have done: in an enduring, interdependent and stable partnership.

CONTINUE READING

The Kebab and Camel
Leave a reply