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Turkey and the Question of Military Intervention: Pressures and Constraints 25 octobre 2014

Posted by Acturca in Middle East / Moyen Orient, Turkey / Turquie, USA / Etats-Unis.
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Policy Analysis (Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies) October 2014

Emad Y. Kaddorah *

Turkey is facing critical choices over immediate military intervention in its own backyard.[1] It can either respond to escalating calls and demands for direct intervention; prioritize its own reading of the internal and regional developments and put its national interests first; or maintain its ambiguous position of pledging solidarity and support for the international coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) while avoiding direct military confrontations. Each of these options come with costs and benefits on both domestic and regional fronts. ISIL is almost at the Turkish border, which means Turkey is facing its biggest challenge in decades. The inherent threat in the expansion of ISIL is not only limited to the possibility of attacks on Turkish soil, but also to the prospect of instability that could threaten Turkey internally. There have been escalating calls, especially from Kurds, for Turkey to intervene in Syria, and to rescue Kobane by providing support for the fighters besieged there. Large protests have also erupted, condemning Ankara’s failure to intervene in Kobane, and accusing the Turkish state of indifference toward the fate of the Syrian-Kurdish enclave. Demands for intervention have also been taken up at international level, the US-led coalition being particularly interested in the prospect of military assistance from Turkey.

* Emad Y. Kaddorah works as a senior editor at the ACRPS. He holds a Master’s in Strategic Studies, and has worked as a researcher and senior editor at a number of research centers, including the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research in Abu Dhabi (1998-2012), the Academic Center for Political Studies (1996-1997), and the Middle East Studies Center in Amman (1994-1996).

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