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. President Donald Trump announced he would arm the Kurds -an ethnic minority whose territory spreads across Iraq, Turkey, Iran and 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 Kurds and Turkish President 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 the 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 Erdogan’s support of Islamic State is a calculated strategy to suppress the Kurds in Turkey.
Produced by Bethel Habte