Last week in Turkey: Rising political tensions between Turkey and Syria

Last week in Turkey: Rising political tensions between Turkey and Syria

Considering Turkey’s conditions, for the first time in many years, we were having a calm week until the bad news came from Syria’s Idlib Province, where 6 Turkish soldiers were martyred.

Turkey and Syria have clashed many times from the beginning of Syrian conflicts which ongoing for almost 10 years.

After the resignation of Ahmet Davutoglu from Prime Minister position at May 2016, Turkey had changed its Syrian policies and started to cooperate with Moscow and Tehran to resolve the Syrian crisis, instead of cooperating with the US.

Astana Process and Sochi meetings between President Erdogan and Putin have given constructive results for this new political orientation around Ankara.

Summit in Sochi, US in a state of emergency, tragedy in Iran

The new process in the Turkish-Russian relations have positively affected the relation between Ankara and Damascus and the political tension between the two capitals decreased.

Erdogan-Putin deal: 4 key-points of the Turkish-Russian future collaboration

Turkish Armed Forces have conducted several military operations in the North of Syria against terrorist organizations such as PKK/PYD/YPG with the cooperation of Russia and Iran, and the indirect permission of the Syrian government.

At same time, with the reduction of Turkey’s support for the opposition groups in Syria, Syrian Arab Army started to liberate lands throughout most of the country.

Things were going good in Syria but the presence of opposition groups in the Idlib Province and the conflict for the control of M4 and M5 highways which connects the Syrian cities together, has provoked new problems between Ankara and Damascus.

As the recent situation shows, even the meeting between the Turkey’s intelligence chief Hakan Fidan and his Syrian counterpart Maj. Gen Ali Mamlouk, in Moscow on 13th of January, which was officially announced by the two countries, was not enough to decrease the military tensions.

After the martyrdom of the 6 Turkish soldiers, the situation got tense.

President Erdogan and other Turkish authorities have declared that the Turkish Armed Forced will start to target the Syrian Armed Forces.

Russian authorities have made several declarations, that would call both sides to decrease the tension.

There are rumors in the corridors of diplomacy that President Erdogan and Putin will come together to resolve the problem.

When we consider the deep economic, military and political relations between Ankara and Moscow, such as the S-400 missile system, the TurkStream gas pipeline, the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant and the cooperation in Libya, this crisis that started in İdlib, can be resolved with diplomacy between the two capitals.

The Future of Turkey-Russia Relations Post Shipments S-400 Missile System

In the coming days, even though the military tension in Syria have risen, the diplomatic actions between Ankara and Moscow, will be decisive.

Onur Sinan Güzaltan
Political expert, geopolitical analyst, journalist (Turkey)


February 2020
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