Turkey plays with fire

Turkey is playing with fire. Mired in a deep political crisis, Ankara stands on the brink of launching an opportunistic military campaign in northern Iraq. The government and the military are locked in a deadly political battle. The military would like to see a crisis erupting in northern Iraq that would allow the generals to impose martial law or some sort of constitutional aberration. Erdogan is singing the same song to demonstrate his own nationalist credentials. But if history is any guide, displays of excessive patriotism have never served stability in the region. General Yasar Buyukanit made a comment condemning outside support for the Kurdish guerrillas that reminded many of the Greek-Turkish cold war era. Turkey should take care not to export its domestic crisis to its neighbors. It must stop witch-hunting and military campaigns beyond its borders and take a good look at problems closer to home such as its lingering democratic deficit.

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