While most of Turkey’s military focus is on fighting against ISIS along the Syrian border, the nation is also facing soaring tension with its own Kurdish minority, both in its country and along the border. Turkish airstrikes against PKK targets in Iraq on Friday sparked the latest round of violence.
Turkey had a formal truce with the PKK for over two years before Friday’s attacks, and Turkish officials were quick to blame the PKK for a Friday car bombing that killed two Turkish soldiers in a Kurdish region of Turkey, following it up with more airstrikes in Iraq.
Now, Turkish police are clashing with Kurdish demonstrators in their capital city of Ankara, and the PKK says that the long-standing truce no longer has any meaning after the airstrikes, suggesting the multi-decade war against Kurdish secessionists may be once again heating up in a big way.
The 2012 truce was supposed to give way to talks on ending the PKK war with Turkey, but talks stalled fairly quickly, with both sides trading blame, and it seemed like only a matter of time before the fighting resumed.
This greatly complicates the situation in southeastern Turkey, as they will have to cope with another surge in anger from the Kurdish population there, even as the fighting picks up with ISIS.