(…as that hydra-headed wildfire of conflicts closes in on its borders….)

After almost five years of sitting on the sidelines in its attempts to avoid getting sucked into the vortex of the Syrian civil war, and, the never ending Sunni- Shia clashes in Iraq, plus, the rise of ISIS, and, with the latest Iran Nuclear agreement finally negotiated, Turkey is now forced to…walk the line…as that hydra-headed wildfire of conflicts closes in on its borders.

The immediate threat to its internal stability and security is of course…ISIS…which has clearly demonstrated it will not respect any border in the pursuit of its objectives. Up until now Turkey felt largely “immune” from its rabid actions it perpetrated in the region. No more. Recent car-bombing incidents within Turkey, and the latest attack on one of its military border posts, has driven home the reality it now faces. That is…ISIS…is just as ready to savage the Turks as much as it is ready to do to anyone else in the region…despite Turkey’s appeasement stance to date of turning a blind eye to ISIS’s logistical traffic through Turkish territory.

In short, Turkey has learned the hard way…you can’t play footsie with it the likes of ISIS…and not get burned. Unfortunately, its retaliatory strikes against it are not really going to be effective because it is misdirecting it focus on its long standing antipathy toward its ethnic kinfolk…the Kurds…viewing these through the same kind of paranoid perspectives that the Pakistanis have for India, and the Israelis have for the Palestinians.

Frankly, we believe such a viewpoint is self-defeating because the Kurds (both in Syria and in Iraq) are the only ones who can effectively help secure Turkey’s borders against these neighboring wildfire conflicts. More importantly, from a strategic self-interest perspective, resolving their contentions with the Kurds, to form a strong political, economic, and military alliance with them, would not only establish a much stronger bulwark against Iranian hegemonic ambitions in the region, but strengthen its ultimate objective of seeing the demise of the Assad regime.

A collateral impact of such a shift in Turkish/Kurd relations would be to enhance its relationships with Israel, Lebanon, and Jordan, thereby forming the basis for a viable Middle Eastern Union, whose combined economic and military strength would help stabilize the entire region. Egypt and Saudi Arabia more than likely would thus gravitate toward it, making it even stronger and more secure against either Iranian mischief-making, or Islamic extremism, such as ISIS. The question is: is there anyone in Ankara able and willing to abandon narrow nationalist tunnel vision…for these kinds of broader perspectives for the future?