A suspected pair of terrorist attacks have taken place in the Turkish city of Istanbul. The boasts were said to have taken place outside of the football stadium that is home to Besiktas. It’s believed that the bombs were aimed at a police riot vehicle stationed outside of the stadium and not on members of the public as has happened in previous attacks. So far there is no claim of responsibility for the attack. But it’s thought that one of the bombs was a car based bomb and one may have been a suicide attack.
Turkey is no stranger to attacks in its major cities. The country has many enemies around the world, and also spans a huge area, making security a massive potential problem for them. Previous attacks like the one at Ataturk airport last year were the work of so called Islamic state fighters who are against the government’s intervention in Syria. They also have domestic terrorism issues with the PKK who have created problems in the country with their attacks in the country in the past.
This new attack will only put more pressure on President Erdogan to further tighten security in the country. But with his own presidency under spotlight due to a recent attempt at a military coup in the country, it’s unclear whether he has the leadership to deal with the issues facing the country. Indeed of late he’s been much busier with dealing with international trade, trying to bargain on maintaining their policy of looking after Syrian refugees in order to speed up their entrance to the European union.
This abuse of their negotiating position is one of the factors that make Turkey an unsavoury potential member of the union. The country has a history of human rights violation, and its laws on freedom are highly incompatible with more liberal western regimes. Whilst Turkey would be a useful regional trading partner, their potential for allowing quick access to the schengen zone of Europe’s free borders may deter their entry. Indeed it may even push western democracies to reconsider their own positions much like the UK did when they decided to leave the union.
But with elections upcoming in France in 2017 and Italy in 2018, the potential of Turkey joining the zone may push these democracies even further against Europe and start the beginning of the end of the Union as more major economies leave it.
Joseph is a 34 year old freelance writer from London. He has a wide interest in politics and specialises in the subject. He's also a blog writer in his spare time.