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Wave of violence tests Turkey's political stability

Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - 02:25

A security analyst warns that this week's violence in Turkey is likely to continue with both the government and the Kurdistan Workers Party digging in for a fight. Nathan Frandino reports.

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Tuesday's headlines in Turkey say it all. Chaos... Black Monday... Attacks come from everywhere. The country is on edge after a wave of deadly assaults, including a police station bombing by the Kurdish militant group the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, and a shooting on the U.S. consulate by the far-leftist Revolutionary People's Liberation Army-Front. Residents say they just want peace. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) ISTANBUL RESIDENT, ZEKI YILMAZ, SAYING: "Turks, Kurds, Alevites, Sunnis, we are all brothers. This our cultural heritage. I wish everybody would consider that and live together." But the problem is complex. In June, President Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party lost its parliament majority. Turkey now has until August 23 to form a working coalition or new elections could be called. But the political uncertainty, combined with the government's decision to crackdown on the PKK, despite a ceasefire agreement, is sending ripples of unease through Turkish society. And security analyst Nihat Ali Ozcan says the fate of peace talks with the separatist group now hangs in the balance. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) SECURITY ANALYST, NIHAT ALI OZCAN, SAYING: "The government chose to follow the path of violence to find a strategic way out and PKK also chose violence to take back the opportunities it lost during this process. Therefore, these hostilities are likely to continue for a while. How this will develop? This depends on whether the government will be formed or whether there will be early polls." Turkey's fight with the PKK comes amid a crackdown on Islamic State as well. And for bystanders in Istanbul, its an increasingly worrisome situation. (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) ISTANBUL RESIDENT, AYSEN AKCA, SAYING: "People are being killed from both sides everyday. Our heart goes for our martyrs. My brother is a police officer. I fear for his life everyday. Therefore we want a sacrifice and a solution to stop the killings." It's a common sentiment although, given the growing tension, that the solution could take much more time to find.

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Wave of violence tests Turkey's political stability

Tuesday, August 11, 2015 - 02:25