Turkey was the victim of yet another attack on Tuesday, which left at least 10 people dead and 15 injured.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reacted to the attack as he addressed Turkey’s ambassadors who had gathered in Ankara. In his speech he told them that “You either take side with the Turkish government or the terrorist organisations. There is no other way.”
Erdogan also appealed to the ambassadors to stress the need in the countries where they are based to help Turkey fight all terrorist organisations.
Although Turkey’s Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, confirmed the suspected bomber was a member of the Islamic State, Erdogan stressed the need to fight all organisations the government considers to be engaging in terrorist activity.
“Turkey will fight until the last terrorist put their gun down and we are not going to ask permission from other people to do that,” Erdogan continued, “Everyone should know that. They need to learn their lesson.”
Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, told Business Insider in an email that following the attack “most European allies and the US will privately push Turkey to step up their fight against ISIS,” but that Turkey would resist.
“Erdogan sees his primary fight as with the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) and that won’t change,” Bremmer said.
In July of last year, Turkey had launched what it called a “synchronised war on terror,” which was supposed to include fighting the Islamic State in co-operation with Western forces in Syria and fighting the Kurdish PKK in Turkey.
Since then though, the country’s efforts have largely been concentrated on fighting the PKK, after a two-year cease-fire between the Turkish government and the PKK ended.
Over the past months, Turkey has also been hit by several bombings near its border with Syria which have been blamed on ISIS. The country also suffered its worst ever terror attack in October 2015 when over 100 people died in Ankara. In January 2015, a suicide bomber killed a police officer in the Sultanahmet tourist district of Istanbul.
The recent attack is also likely to further impact on the thousands of Syrian refugees entering Turkey. Last December the European Union, following an unprecedented number of asylum seekers entering its borders, struck a £2.25 billion deal with Turkey, in exchange for their help in stemming the flow of refugees.
“It’s been unlikely that they will truly work to integrate two million refugees into Turkey, however much they are offered or promised by Merkel,” Bremmer said. “These attacks make that even more challenging.”
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