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Security officials at the scene of a car bombing in the central Anatolian city of Kayseri, Turkey, Dec. 17, 2016. (IHA via AP).

With Attacks in Turkey, PKK Sends a Message to Erdogan—and to Trump

Friday, Dec. 23, 2016

Last week, Turkey was hit by yet another terrorist attack, a car bombing that killed 13 soldiers and wounded 55 others in the central Anatolian city of Kayseri. Although quickly overshadowed days later by the assassination in Ankara of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey, the bombing came just a week after a twin suicide bombing killed 44 policemen and wounded another 150 outside the Besiktas football stadium in Istanbul.

While no immediate claim of responsibility has been issued for the Kayseri bombing, solid evidence points to the same perpetrators as the earlier Dec. 10 attack: the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), a well-known offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The quick succession of attacks was a grim reminder that after 20 months of renewed fighting in eastern Turkey between the PKK and the Turkish military, the PKK is far from broken. In fact, it appears that the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States has made a bad situation in Turkey even worse for the PKK and left it with no other option than to step up attacks on the Turkish state. ...

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