Photo Gallery Civil War Fears

Turkish President Erdogan claims to be battling the terrorist Islamic State, but in reality he is mainly fighting against Kurds and the PKK. By doing so, he has shown that he is willing to derail the peace process in his country for the sake of clinging to power.
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The peace process between the Turkish government and the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) has stalled indefinitely. Every day, PKK fighters and Turkish soldiers are killed by fighting, air strikes and attacks. In some places, such as Istanbul's flashpoint Gazi district, youths have clashed with police over Ankara's hardline stance against the Kurds. The scuffles have sometimes resulted in injury or death.

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After the devastating suicide bombing in the town of Suruc on July 20, which left 32 dead, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan promised to step up the fight against IS militants. But many have criticized him for targeting the Kurdish PKK more than the Islamist extremists.

Foto: Ulas Yunus Tosun/ dpa
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Few places encapsulate the chaos that has befallen southern Turkey better than the city of Diyarbakir, pictured here. Turkish fighter jets take off from a nearby air base to bomb PKK fighters and there has been a string of violent protests between young Kurds and police officers.

Foto: Charlotte Schmitz
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Newal Bulut is a supporter of Turkey's HDP party and its leader, Selahattin Demirtas. For years, she watched her friends get arrested for advocating for more rights for Kurds. In June, she hoped the HDP's success at the ballot box would help Turkey become more pluralistic. "I was naive," she says.

Foto: Charlotte Schmitz
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Now when Newal Bulut walks through downtown Diyarbakir, she passes armored police cars and barricades erected by anti-government protesters. Bulut grew up in civil war and she now worries that it could happen again.

Foto: Charlotte Schmitz
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Across the border in Syria is another embattled Kurdish city -- Kobane. Earlier this year, the world watched transfixed as Kurdish forces, aided by air strikes from the US Air Force, fought off encroaching IS militants. They were largely successful and many viewed it as a kind of Kurdish Spring. But now, that spring has turned into a hate-filled, violent summer that is pitting Kurds and Turks against one another, when they should be fighting IS.

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Attacks have become an almost daily occurrence on the Turkish-Syrian border. In this picture, two women stand at the scene where a bomb exploded during an HDP election rally on June 5. Four people were killed and hundreds more were wounded.

Foto: Charlotte Schmitz
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Back in Diyarbakir, Turkey has allowed the US Air Force access to its air base. This shortens the distance that American fighter jets have to fly to bomb IS targets in neighboring Syria.

Foto: Charlotte Schmitz
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The Suruc suicide attack was a turning point in the current conflict along the Turkish-Syrian border. Up until that point, Turkey had been reluctant to combat IS fighters.

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Thirty-two people were killed on July 20 when a suicide bomber attacked a group of youth activists in the Turkish town. The bomber was reported to be an ethnic Kurd with ties to Islamic State militants.

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In Karkamis, Turkey, the Turkish flag can be seen flown barely 100 meters away from the Islamic State flag in the adjacent Syrian town of Jarabulus.

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