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Turkey terror attacks result of Erdogan Syria policy: Commentator

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during the "31st Mukhtars (local administrators) meeting" at Presidential Complex in Ankara on December 7, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Turkish officials have suggested that the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) may have been behind Saturday’s bloody explosions in Istanbul. Turkey has seen a host of terrorist attacks in recent years, most of them blamed on either the Daesh Takfiri terrorists or the PKK and other Kurdish groups. The latest bloodshed has revived debates on whether Turkey is in fact facing a backlash for its controversial actions in neighboring countries.

Speaking to Press TV, James Jatras, a former US Senate foreign policy analyst, pinned the blame on President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying that through his hostile policies in the region, especially in Syria, Erdogan has reinforced both the Takfiri groups and the Kurdish insurgency.

“Let’s remember that for over five years, he [Erdogan] has been trying to destabilize neighboring Syria and accomplish regime change there. In the process, he has not only destabilized that country, but has fed the radical Salafist movement in the form of Daesh and other such groups and also unleashed what he sees as the Kurdish threat to Turkey’s territorial integrity,” the analyst noted.

He further noted that Turkey was linked to Daesh in “a love-hate” relationship, which has seen many ups and downs since the beginning of the war in Syria.

Jatras said Daesh terrorists feel betrayed now that Turkey has stopped its oil purchases.

“Up until maybe a year or two years ago, there were clear indications that Turkey was directly supporting Daesh, including acting as a conduit for their sales of oil which is one of their main sources of funding,” Jatras said.

There is no doubt that given the Syrian government’s advancements in the war, Daesh terrorists are concerned about being abandoned by their sponsors, he added.  

Jatras argued that although the end of the war in Syria does not necessarily mean the end of terrorist attacks in Turkey, it is a must for Ankara to help bring the conflict to an end as soon as possible.

“It seems to me that having a war like this with so many contending parties is just an invitation to regional instability, most of all in Turkey. However, I don’t think wrapping up the Syrian war itself will destroy these threats to Turkey.”

“The fact is the Salafist threat has been unleashed largely through Erdogan’s actions. The Kurdish insurgency has reignited largely through Erdogan’s actions. That is not going to go away immediately even if the Syrian war wraps up,” he opined.

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