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Friday, October 10, 2014

Turkey still refuses to fight ISIS

President Erdogen

Turkey is frustrating the hell out of everyone. Although they have one of the biggest Armies in the world, they won't engage in a fight against ISIS unless the US-led coalition goes after President Bashar Assad.

But that's not all.  Turkish President Erdogen is demanding that a no-fly zone be established to stop Assad's Air Force flying over the Turkish border, a safe haven for 1.5 million Syrian refugees now in Turkey to return home and Coalition boots on the ground.

President Obama has made it pretty clear that he won't comply to any of his demands and it's unlikely that the rest of NATO will either.

Turkish soldiers

The Kurds in Turkey are furious and say the Turks are standing by and allowing ISIS to slaughter their people.  But now that the violence is spilling over the border into Turkey, how long will they wait?

It all makes sense once we learn that the Kurds hate the Turks and the Turks fear the Kurds.  Sinan Ulgen, a former Turkish diplomat said it's in Turkey's interests to see the Kurds and ISIS battle it out. "The fact that the two are fighting each other is not necessarily a bad outcome for Turkey if you really want to think in realistic terms" he said.

So if Turkey intervenes, the Kurds are worried they would then have two enemies fighting against them.

From Australia's point of view, we've always been on good terms with the Turks because of our connection to Gallipoli.  They fought on our side against Hitler and Japan in WW2 and were also involved in Korea and Afghanistan.

But while the world waits for them to act, unless ISIS does something really stupid like attacking the Turkish Army, they are content to sit on the fence.