Ankara didn't want to open the Incirlik military base for a long time, especially during the Kobane fight. What has changed Ankara's mind? Why did Ankara suddenly decide to open the Incirlik base? Is there a new agreement between Ankara and Washington?
A combination of factors prompted the Republic of Turkey to change its position on Incirlik: The most important of them are the recent bombing in Suruç, pressure coming from the West, and a cover to attack the PKK.
If Ankara has decided to cooperate with Washington against ISIL, why is it fighting against ISIL's main enemy PKK, which is the backbone of the YPG?
My understanding is that the Turkish government pretended to attack ISIL but really wanted to fight the PKK. Giving the Americans access to Incirlik made this more possible.
Didn't Washington see that Ankara's operations against the PKK were coming?
The Obama administration feels tricked.
If the Incirlik base is opened by Ankara in return for an operation against the PKK, is it worth it for the US to take Incirlik as a base against ISIL, while the PKK and consequently YPG are being weakened?
It is not worth it. I wish the U.S. government would immediately stop using Incirlik and would pressure Ankara to end the operations against the PKK.
Meanwhile, Barzani called on PKK rebels to leave Iraq's Kurdish Region. What is the reason?
The Kurdistan Regional Government has good relations with Ankara and does not want to jeopardize these.
It has been years since the PKK positioned itself in Northern Iraq, what has changed? Why should they leave now and not before?
The Turkish government is putting additional pressure on the KRG.
Barzani also sells Kurdistan's and Kirkuk's crude oil shares independently to Turkey and will receive the money without going through Baghdad, could this be a reason for Barzani's changing stance towards the PKK?
Yes, it is an important element in the KRG-Republic of Turkey relationship.
Baghdad will definitely not be happy with this crude oil trade between Barzani and Turkey. So won't this effect Erbil and Baghdad's mutual fight against ISIL and Mosul's future?
Yes, tensions between the central government of Iraq and the KRG significantly diminish the fight against ISIL.
How do you evaluate the recent elections in Turkey? Do you think Erdoğan is kind of isolated in his presidency after these election results? Or is he undermining the government formation process in order to keep ruling the country and gaining power and ground for a possible early elections?
As I wrote on the eve of the June election, I do not see Erdoğan accepting its results. As he put it when he was mayor of Istanbul, democracy is like a bus: "You ride it until you arrive at your destination, then you step off." With the presidency, he reached his destination and now is getting off. How he will sabotage the election results is not clear but that he intends to do so is very clear.
How do you evaluate HDP's success? Are they really going to be a political party that cares for the whole of Turkey? Or is HDP's success a great step towards separation?
HDP's success has a profound importance for the future of the Republic of Turkey, indicating that Kurds need to be accepted as full partners in the country's governance.
What has happened in Tal Abyad? The PYD took over the city which actually doesn't belong to a Kurdish Canton. Is the PYD attempting to create a contiguity of the Kurdish region?
Yes, the PYD hopes to control a large and contiguous area. Ultimately, I suspect, it would like an outlet to the Mediterranean Sea.
The Turkish public opinion is talking about a Kurdish corridor from Northern Iraq to the Mediterranean coast, is the PYD in collaboration with Barzani for creating such a corridor?
I do not know the specifics of their relations but this does look like a joint goal.