Global Smackdown (9/7): what’s going on and why it matters



Deanna Crusco

Who: The PKK (The Kurdistan Worker’s Party)

What: Set off a roadside bomb killing 14 Turkish soldiers

Where: Turkish/Iraqi border 

When: September 6, 2015

Why: Rebellion against the Turkish government 

So What: The PKK is a rebel political party in opposition of the Turkish government. It is classified by the U.S. as a terrorist organization. Turkey, one of the U.S.’s strongest Middle Eastern allies, is responding to the PKK’s attacks by sending in forces to combat the PKK. Because of the U.S.’s close ties with Turkey, it follows that the U.S. would support Turkey’s retaliation. However, the PKK is made up of ethnic Kurds, a people group making the most progress in the fight against ISIS. The predicament is this: should the U.S. step in and protect the PKK, thereby contributing to the fight against ISIS, though creating tension with their Middle Eastern allies? Or, should the U.S. maintain their alliance with Turkey at the risk of allowing ISIS to advance even further in the absence of the PKK? 

*Global Smackdown is a 23-minute forum facilitated by Dr. Tim Horner every Wednesday at 2 p.m in Corr Lounge.