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11/21/2022 Turkey (International Christian Concern) – Turkey conducted military operations starting on Saturday the 19th in northern Syria and Iraq, mainly through airstrikes. This is in response to an explosion in Istanbul on Sunday the 13th. Turkey claimed to have captured the perpetrator of the explosion and is using the incident to make blanket statements which justify their military attacks in northern Syria and Iraq.

Turkey’s officials are placing the primary blame of the attack on the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party) and YPG (People’s Defense Units). These gruella groups are Kurdish affiliated (the PKK is officially designated as a terrorist group), and it is common for Turkey to blame Kurds for any challenge or issue faced by the country. With this framework, Turkey’s Defense Ministry is using the cover of Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which allows countries to act in self-defense against armed attacks, specifically when it involves acts of terrorism. After the explosion in Istanbul, they are utilizing Article 51 to conduct airstrikes. The consequence is that these areas and countries are made more unstable, which impacts the ability of Christian civilians to live safely. Turkey also has a history of conducting indiscriminate attacks, including those which target the minority and Christian populations.

The situation is yet another chapter in an otherwise long novel of Turkish aggression throughout the region. Turkey openly has neo-ottomanist ambitions which seek territorial expansion and needs the perception of self-defense in order to justify these actions. It is worth recalling that under the Ottoman framework, a genocide against Christians was committed and Turkey’s modern actions include the expansion of this historic genocide. Whether it be through Turkey’s indiscriminate attacks or through its funding of local terrorist organizations, all Christians in these countries are in danger.

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