Turkey has a terrorism problem, though not just the Kurdish one it often claims. The Turkish government, for example, embraces Hamas and Hezbollah and Prime Minister Erdogan himself has offered a character reference to an al-Qaeda financier to which Cuneyt Zapsu, a top advisor, had donated money.
Against this backdrop, it is tragic that the Obama administration has removed equipment needed by our troops in Afghanistan in order to woo the Turkish government and support its fight against terrorism. Never did the White House or State Department use their leverage to demand that Turkey accept a common definition of terrorism that would not give Palestinian and anti-Israel groups a free pass.
Now, in the name of anti-terrorism, it appears that Turkey has massacred nearly three dozen Iraqi Kurdish villagers, none of whom appear to have been Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) members or were involved in any terrorist support. The deputy chairman of Turkey’s ruling party has acknowledged that the murders were in error. The killings come on top of a similar raid in August that killed seven civilians, including toddlers.
It will be interesting to see whether Turkey will discipline those involved in these killings, pay compensation, apologize, or allow international investigations. No one should hold their breath, however. The Turkish government is interested in neither justice nor counter-terrorism; its interests lay instead solely in Israel-bashing and incitement.