By DUYGU KANVER
Capital News Service
LANSING – The Syrian town of Kobani, a predominantly Kurdish city by the Turkish border, has been under assault by the jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) since mid-September, leaving about 800 dead and 300,000 displaced from their homes. While airstrikes led by the U.S. have supported ongoing resistance by Kurdish forces in the region, Kurds say Turkey’s collaboration by opening its borders with Syria and Iraq is central to saving Kobani. “We ask for nothing from the Turkish government but this,” says Ruken Sengul, a Turkish Kurd postdoctoral fellow in the Armenian Studies program at the University of Michigan. On Oct. 29, Turkey’s borders were opened to Kobani-bound rebel fighters called the Free Syrian Army and a day later to Iraqi Kurdish fighters called the peshmergas, but those moves by the Turkish government didn’t satisfy the Kurds and Turks in Michigan.