Turkey to prevent Kurdish enclave in Syria
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced yesterday that Turkey would not tolerate any measures by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) from creating an autonomous Kurdish state in northern Syria.
The prime minister has made it clear that he considers it an ‘undisputed right’ of Turkey to intervene in Syria if it believes that it is facing a terrorist threat. The announcement came as the predominantly Kurdish north east region of Syria has come under the control of Syrian rebels in the past few days. The rebels, however, appear to be the PKK who are considered terrorists by the Turkish government and there have been indications that they may have been armed and trained by Kurdish forces in northern Iraq.
Turkey will fear the idea of a Kurdish state being carved out of north east Syria and northern Iraq which would then increase demands from Kurds in south east Turkey for separatism.
With the expected collapse of the Assad regime in Syria some analysts are talking about a possible split of the state into an Alawite enclave in the north west, a Kurdish autonomous state in the north east and a Sunni Muslim dominated state in the rest of the country.