Turkey, a NATO ally and host to two U.S. Air Force bases, will not cooperate with the attacks on ISIS. The AFP reports:
Turkey will refuse to allow a U.S.-led coalition to attack jihadists in neighboring Iraq and Syria from its air bases, nor will it take part in combat operations against militants, a government official told AFP Thursday.
Turkey made a similar refusal during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which it disapproved of. This time, however, Ankara has shown at least some concern about ISIS, which has attacked Turkey directly. So what is going on?Turkey may be reluctant to act because ISIS is holding dozens of Turkish diplomats hostage:
Turkey now sees itself a victim of ISIS with Islamist militants holding 49 Turks hostage, including diplomats and children, abducted from the Turkish consulate in Mosul in Iraq on June 11.
Ankara is therefore reluctant to take a stronger role in the coalition against ISIS militants in apparent fear of aggravating the hostage situation.
“Our hands and arms are tied because of the hostages,” the official told AFP.’
Meanwhile, a new survey shows that support for the EU and NATO is on the rise among the Turkish people, and it doesn’t seem too speculative to attribute this shift to the collapse of Iraq and Syria next door. While for the moment Turkey is unwilling to participate in the offensive against ISIS, will the recent polls and setbacks for neo-Ottomanism change AKPs calculus?