Turkey’s Blind Eye Toward the Islamic State

Podcast—the enemy of your enemy is not always your friend

Turkey’s Blind Eye Toward the Islamic State Turkey’s Blind Eye Toward the Islamic State
Turkey is a member of NATO, an American ally and a bulwark against the broiling chaos of the Middle East. That’s the story at... Turkey’s Blind Eye Toward the Islamic State

Turkey is a member of NATO, an American ally and a bulwark against the broiling chaos of the Middle East. That’s the story at least. The truth is far more complicated. Recently, U.S. Pres. Donald Trump approved a plan to arm the YPG—Kurdish fighters whose territory spreads across northern Syria. No one likes Daesh, and the Kurds have done an incredible job pushing back against the religious zealots.

But Turkey has a venomous relationship with the YPG, and Turkish Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly called them terrorists. Worse, there’s good evidence that Turkey is helping, or at least turning a blind eye to, Islamic State activity on its border.

This week on War College, war correspondent Norma Costello walks us through the complicated history of the Kurds, Turkey and Islamic State. According to Costello, the state-sponsored violence against the Kurds in southeast Turkey is one of the great unreported tragedies of the 21st century, and that Erdogan’s support of Islamic State is a calculated strategy to suppress the Kurds in Turkey.

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