Emerging Europe is surrounded by potential security threats that can contribute to political instability. These threats emanate from ongoing armed conflict in Syria and Iraq that have led to terrorist attacks, Russian interference,  and the re-emergence of radical nationalism in the Balkans.

Terrorism will continue to act as a source of political instability in Emerging Europe, particularly in Turkey, which is at the forefront of this risk.

2018 is unlikely to see Ankara change its policies with regards to the Kurdish problem. This in itself will increase the likelihood that discontent is shown through terrorist attacks on Turkish soil. Moreover, and as beforehand assessed in the previous Outlook ("Emerging Europe’s Evolving International Alliances”), Turkey will likely increase its military pressure over Kurdish armed groups operating in Syria, with the support of Russia and Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad.

Ankara’s obsession with resolving the Kurdish problem through military might (with high political revenues for the ruling elite) will trigger further social unrest in Kurdish populated areas in Turkey, and a military/terrorist response from the two major Kurdish armed groups, the PKK and YPG.