The Current

Will Turkey's growing troubles affect Canadian relations with the NATO ally?

Turkey enters another dark chapter in its history as attacks escalate and the government cracks down, which raises questions about how Canada should manage its ties to the NATO ally.
At least 37 people were killed and 125 injured in a car bomb attack — the second of its kind in three weeks. (Defne Karadeniz/Getty Images)

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While a group has yet to officially claim responsibility for the March 13 car bomb attack in Turkey, the government suspects the Kurdish separatist group, the P.K.K. Soon after the bombing, air strikes were launched against the P.K.K. inside northern Iraq.

As the situation in Turkey unravels and their government targets even academics, questions are raised about how Canada should manage its ties to the NATO ally. 

Most avenues of freedom of expression or voices of criticism ... even social media, are facing increasing crackdowns.- Dorian Jones on the Turkish government's reaction to the current situation

As tensions mount in Turkey, the potential ramifications could be significant for the war against ISIS, efforts to ease the Syrian conflict, and the ongoing refugee and migrant crisis. (Adem Altan/AFP/Getty Images)

Though Turkey is a key strategic partner for the West — especially given the war in Syria and the refugee crisis — its NATO allies, including Canada, now face a dilemma. Turkey's recent treatment of human rights and its assault on Kurdish fighters within its borders — as the U.S. and Canada back other Kurdish factions in the fight against ISIS — raise questions about coming relations between the NATO allied countries.

Guests in this segment:

  • Dorian Jones, freelance journalist based in Turkey.
  • Ferry de Kerckhove, board member of the Conference of Defence Associations Institute, senior fellow at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa, and a former Canadian ambassador to Pakistan, Indonesia, and Egypt. 

This segment was produced by The Current's Julia Pagel and Idella Sturino.