Turkey has called a special meeting of NATO ambassadors to discuss military operations against the self-styled Islamic State and Kurdish separatists, known as the PKK.

Marc Pierini
Pierini is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe, where his research focuses on developments in the Middle East and Turkey from a European perspective.
More >

Turkey has been a reluctant ally in the campaign against the Islamic State, allowing the use of Turkish military bases for anti–Islamic State coalition air strikes but refusing to provide any military support of its own. But last week's bombing of a cultural center in Turkey by a man with suspected links to the Islamic State appears to have been a turning point.

On July 24, Turkey launched its own wave of air strikes against the Islamic State in Syria. And, in a move that could vastly complicate the fight, Ankara also renewed its attacks against Kurdish militants in Northern Iraq, ending a shaky two-year ceasefire with the PKK, the Kurdistan People’s Party. In a parallel operation, antiterrorism police arrested almost 600 people accused of supporting the Islamic State or the PKK.

Kurdish forces have played a key role in the battle against the Islamic State, proving to be a far more effective fighting force than the Iraqi army, but Turkey has long been anxious about the consequences of arming the Kurds against the Islamic State.

On RN Breakfast, Marc Pierini discussed Turkey’s strategy with Fran Kelly.

This broadcast was originally aired on the Australian Broadcast Corporation’s RN Breakfast.