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Iranian-Turkish tug-of-war over Kurds

Allegations of Iranian support for the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) have created fresh tension in the region as Turkey faces new violence from Kurdish militants.
Protesters hold flags showing jailed PKK leader (Kurdistan Workers' Party) Abdullah Ocalan during a demonstration against Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in central Brussels, Belgium, November 17, 2016. REUTERS/Yves Herman - RTX2U3V0

A few weeks before the devastating Dec. 10 twin bombings in Istanbul — for which Kurdish militants claimed responsibility — Al-Monitor spoke with several sources well-connected with Ankara about how Turkey might address Iran's intensified logistics support to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

For the past couple of months, different media outlets in Turkey and the region have been reporting that representatives of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, led by Gen. Qasem Soleimani, have held several meetings with senior PKK members in Baghdad and in Halabja and Rania in Iraqi Kurdistan. The Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), a PKK offshoot, claimed responsibility for the attacks that killed 38 people and wounded 155.

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