Turkey is resisting the temptation to intervene militarily in the Syrian northern border town of Kobani despite pressures from Kurds as well as international sources.
The extremist militant forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) have reportedly penetrated the Syrian Kurdish defenses of the town and there are street-to-street battles raging at the moment.
Turkey's militant Kurds are demanding the government send heavy arms to the forces of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (PYG), the military wing of the Syrian Kurdish group PYD, which is regarded as an extension of Turkey's Kurdish terrorist PKK group.
Militant Kurds in Turkey have been staging violent demonstrations in major cities, led by Istanbul, burning down shops, buses and even a gas station as well as in the border regions, demanding immediate Turkish assistance to Kobani's Syrian Kurdish fighters. They are demanding that Turkey send heavy arms and ammunition while also providing fire support from its borders to the PYG forces against ISIS militants. Kurds in Europe are also protesting in major capitals demanding immediate intervention.
Turkey's Kurds are trying to force the government's hand on Kobani by threatening to end the peace process in Turkey between the government and the PKK in the event they succumb to ISIS.
The Iraqi Kurds are also demanding Ankara help the Kobani Kurds turn the tide against ISIS and there are reports that the Barzani Administration in Irbil is disappointed that Turkey has not offered any assistance. But that is not all. Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) is also demanding Turkey intervene to save Kobani. Ironically this is the same CHP that voted against a parliamentary motion last week to send Turkish forces abroad to Syria and Iraq if Turkey's security is threatened.
On the government front, it is clear that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu do not want get involved in the Kobani mess despite pressures from the Kurds.
Turkey wants an overall solution in Syria with the ouster of Assad and the creation of a democratic administration that will put an end to ISIS. It also wants the creation of a safety belt across the border in the form of a no-fly buffer-zone that will help host the huge influx of Syrian refugees and also provide security for its border areas. Turkey does not want to send its land forces into the fighting zone to combat ISIS and sustain losses. The government knows it cannot explain body bags coming from Syria to its Turkish majority with parliamentary elections only eight months away. The only way Turkey will send its forces to fight ISIS is if Turkish territorial integrity is threatened.
Turkey cannot and will not supply or allow anyone else to supply heavy arms to the PYG, which is an unknown and distrusted entity. The Syrian Kurds at times have sided with the Assad regime and have created divisions in the anti-Assad opposition front in Syria. Is there a guarantee that the arms they may use against ISIS today won't turn against Turkey tomorrow? Turkey also faces the dilemma that a new wave of refugees will also mean an infiltration of the PKK and PYG elements in Turkey through Syria, something that is definitely unwanted. Turkey's Kurds should not use the Kobani card to try to blackmail the government threatening to ruin the peace process. These are the times when people's resolves and sincerity are put to the test. The Kurds should not fail this test under the watchful eyes of the Turkish majority in Turkey who cherish the peace process but will refuse to be blackmailed. Everyone has seen the value of the peace process and no one will dare try to turn the clock. The Kurds should ask themselves the question of why the West is so sluggish in helping out in Kobani.