News Tip: Pressing Need for Compromise on Turkish-Kurdish Issue, Duke Visiting Scholar Says

Turkey opened up a second front over the weekend

As Turkish and U.S. officials reportedly worked on a plan to create a safe-zone by sweeping Islamic State militants from a section of northern Syria along the Turkish border, Turkey opened up a second front -- on Kurdish rebel (PKK) sites -- over the weekend. NATO ambassadors will meet Tuesday, at Turkey’s request, to address the spike in violence among Turkey, ISIS and the PKK.•    Quotes: “Turkey’s offensive against the PKK hampers the U.S.-led fight against the Islamic State,” says Kubilay Yado Arin, a Kurdish scholar at Duke University’s Middle East Studies Center. “The U.S. has relied on Syrian Kurdish fighters affiliated with the PKK in making gains against ISIS.”"If there’s in fact an international agreement to establish an ISIS-free safe zone in Syria, as a haven for those fleeing the fighting, Turkish President Erdoğan has signaled a decisive shift in Ankara’s traditional position by declaring that Turkish troops could be used to help set up that zone. Under the Saddam Hussein regime in Iraq, neither the no-fly zone nor the buffer zones in the north and the south of that country protected the Kurds and the Shi’ites from Saddam’s ground troops. In establishing a safe zone, Ankara would be inhibiting a Kurdish-controlled 'corridor' in the border region.”•    Bio:Kubilay Yado Arin, a Kurdish scholar who is a visiting scholar at Duke University’s Middle East Studies Center, focuses on conservative think tanks in the U.S. and Turkey, U.S.-Turkish relations, and EU and U.S. foreign policy toward the Middle East. This year I.B. Tauris will publish his book on “Turkey, the US and the EU: The New Foreign Policies.” •    For additional comment, contact Arin at kya3@duke.edu