Following the detonation of a car bomb next to a bus carrying off duty military personnel, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been reaching out to some of his new friends for support. Tops on the list was Vladimir Putin, which will likely come as a shock to nobody. Erdogan has been cultivating his friendship with Putin (along with other autocrats) ever since he began consolidating his power after the failed coup this summer. Now it sounds as if he and Putin have something else to cooperate on. (Daily Sabah)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has told President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that his country is ready to increase cooperation against terrorism, Kremlin said on Saturday, as Turkey’s central Kayseri province was hit by another terror attack perpetrated by the PKK terrorist organization.

Putin called Erdoğan shortly after the attack, which killed at least 13 soldiers and injured 55 others, to express his condolences to Erdoğan.

He reportedly said that he was sure the response to such terrorist attacks should be a more resolute struggle against terrorist groups.

This should work out well for Erdogan’s long term plans since he’s been looking to essentially cleanse the nation of Kurds for some time now and the PKK is giving him the excuse he needs to continue the purge. Shortly after the most recent bombing he was quickly out on state run media (the only media he hasn’t shut down at this point) to blame his preferred targets. (Reuters)

A car bomb killed at least 13 soldiers and wounded 56 when it ripped through a bus carrying off-duty military personnel in the central Turkish city of Kayseri on Saturday, an attack President Tayyip Erdogan blamed on Kurdish militants.

It could also increase tension in the mainly Kurdish southeast, where militants from the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) have waged a three-decade violent insurgency that has seen some of the worst fighting in the last year.

“The style and goals of the attacks clearly show the aim of the separatist terrorist organization is to trip up Turkey, cut its strength and have it focus its energy and forces elsewhere,” Erdogan said in a statement.

There seems to be little doubt that the PKK is actually behind most of this violence since they frequently take credit for the attacks. Unfortunately, that brings even more heat on the rest of the Kurds in the country from Erdogan and his military. The attacks provide the perfect cover to round up even more of them for “questioning” after which they are unlikely to be seen again. Already today Erdogan’s forces arrested an additional 15 Kurds who are suspected of being “involved” with the attack. That’s on top of the more than 200 who were arrested following the soccer stadium attack, including a number of Kurdish politicians and police officers.

Unfortunately, the PKK pulling off these attacks is giving the president the perfect excuse for the massive roundups. He was no doubt planning to do this all along, but with bombs going off he has a much better story to sell in the press. That’s a disastrous situation for the rest of the Kurds in Turkey who aren’t involved in the separatist movement because there’s an obvious ethnic cleansing going on while the world stays on the sidelines. Before long, Erdogan’s consolidation of power and the removal of his enemies will be complete. As soon as he finishes having the constitution rewritten (which is coming up next month) he will essentially have installed himself as a dictator… probably for life.