Friday, October 23, 2015

How Turkey is planning for Assad-led transition in Syria

Fehim Taştekin,

Image from article, with caption: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses the Turkish parliament during a debate regarding the aim of seeing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad removed from power, Ankara, Oct. 1, 2014.

Controversial information supplied by "Syrian opposition" and/or sources linked to Islamist organizations played parts in shaping Turkey’s Syrian policy. It is common to hear from Istanbul-based Syrian opposition figures about claims of collaboration between PYD-Assad, IS-PYD, IS-Assad and Iran-IS. But for Turkey's foreign minister to use these unverified claims in diplomatic contacts and public diplomacy makes it difficult for Turkey to chart its own distinct course. It is now time to correct our mistakes, but Ankara still cannot follow a straight course without bumping into others. That is why Turkey is arguing not only with its most important trade partner, Russia, and crucial neighbors Iran and Iraq, but also with its NATO ally, the United States. ...

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