Turkey's Militants Get More Organized
Turkey's biggest Kurdish militant group is looking to expand, and it might turn to Russia for help. The Kurdistan Workers' Party, better known by its Kurdish acronym, PKK, has established an umbrella organization for the country's leftist militancies in an effort to broaden its own capabilities and extend its support base beyond the pro-Kurd community. The new group, known as the Peoples' United Revolutionary Movement (HBDH), is led by the chief of the PKK's most radical leftist faction. Its stated intention is to promote its political agenda, which opposes the Turkish state and the ruling Justice and Development Party in particular, through the use of propaganda and terrorist attacks, including against foreign nationals. Because Russia has a long history of using Turkey's militant groups — especially the PKK — to promote its own interests in the region, there is little doubt that Moscow will seize the opportunity created by the HBDH to do so again. By supporting the PKK's newest endeavor, Russia might be able to keep Turkey preoccupied with problems at home and out of Moscow's affairs elsewhere in the Middle East.
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