How will the attacks in Ankara and elsewhere effect Turkey's policies towards Syria and the PKK, in the near future?
Whoever really was behind these many attacks, their effect has been to help justify an increased war by the AKP-led government on the Kurdish population of Turkey. I expect this brutal assault to continue for some time.
What message, do you think the attacks are sending?
That Turkey is unstable country. Its capital city has witnessed more deaths from political violence in the past six months than have Baghdad, Beirut, Kabul, or Mogadishu; that the AKP is taking Turkey into dangerous territory.
What is Washington's stance towards Turkey's operations against the PKK?
The Obama administration has grown impatient with the Erdoğan-Davutoğlu government and has signaled in many ways that it disapproves of its ending of the peace process with the PKK.
And how do you personally evaluate these operations?
I think that Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has to keep manufacturing more enemies to keep hold to power. It is an ugly and destructive process that will end badly.
How does Washington see the solution for the Kurdish question?
A return to the diplomacy that ended in mid-2015.
Do you think there is any hope for the peace process, the Kurdish opening?
Hope is dying each day but still, if the Republic of Turkey comes to terms with the fact that not every citizen of Türkiye (Türkiyeli) is an ethnic Türk, a compromise solution can be found. But this means changing a basic understanding of the country after nearly a century. That will not be easy.
US-TURKISH TENSION ON PYD
Last month Turkey officially announced its worries about the YPG; in response, the US State Department spokesman didn't use the usual diplomatic language but openly said that Washington sees YPG as its ally. How do you evaluate the Obama administration stance towards the YPG?
Washington's view of the situation in Syria differs in many ways from Ankara's; and one of the most prominent difference concerns the YPG. Americans generally see it not as a terrorist organization but as the most attractive force in Syria, one we should help – and soon too, before the Russians completely own it.
And towards Ankara's sensibilities?
The administration's brusque rejection of Erdoğan's demand that it terminate relations with the YPG suggests its annoyance with him and its readiness to offend him.
Why is the US insisting on collaboration with the YPG?
Because it is seen as the best – indeed, the only - hope for improvement in Syria.
Is it worth harming a NATO ally's sensibilities?
Many Americans, including myself, see Turkey as only a nominal member of NATO, ready to benefit from it without reciprocating. So, we are quite ready to offend the Turkish leadership.
OBAMA'S PLANS IN SYRIA
What is the US goal to achieve in Syria, before the end of the Obama administration?
The hope is that the current ceasefire endures and ends the fighting, killing, and destruction.
Can we expect a broader, a more extensive and decisive operation against ISIS in 2016, or must this await Obama's successor?
Obama will not destroy ISIS; and we have no idea at all who his successor might be, so I cannot predict that. Personally, I expect – contrary to most of my colleagues – that ISIS will collapse quite soon, probably in 2016.
RUSSIA & NATO
Why do you think Putin ordered withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria?
Not to stay longer than necessary; put pressure on Assad to make concessions; show Tehran who makes the key decisions.
NATO's stance towards the Turco-Russian plane incident was very cautious. Are NATO and Turkey having problems?
NATO allies of Turkey superficially supported Ankara in this incident but behind the scenes were upset at Ankara's rash decision to bring down a Russian fighter aircraft, the first such action since the Korean War.
Do you think this process ultimately might lead to a Turkish withdrawal from the NATO?
No, because Ankara benefits from membership in NATO and NATO itself lacks a method to exclude it, so it will continue, even if the alliance becomes utterly hollow.