Refugee Flood Heightens Long-Standing Tensions Between Turks and Kurds
The Islamic State's assault on a Kurdish area in Syria increases tensions in Turkey, but may unite rival Kurdish factions.
DAHUK, Iraq—The ongoing assault by militants with the Islamic State on Ayn al Arab (Kobane), a Kurdish city in northern Syria, has unleashed a new wave of terror in the beleaguered country and triggered a mass exodus of tens of thousands into neighboring Turkey.
But beyond the enormity of the humanitarian crisis, the dramatic influx of Kurdish refugees has heightened tensions between Turkey and the Kurds, while it appears to be easing long-standing antagonisms between Kurdish factions spread across four nations. (See "Photographer Captures Tens of Thousands Fleeing ISIS, Entering Turkey.")
The developments have dismayed Turkish authorities, who worry the refugee crisis could stir renewed efforts by its Kurdish minority and its rebel force to seek autonomy for Kurdish areas.