NİHAT ALİ ÖZCAN > ‘German Patriots’ and ‘the five-star hotel operation’ for Syria

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The Turkish government seems to have guaranteed the deployment of the air defense systems it demanded from NATO. The missiles will most likely be deployed at the beginning of the new year. Germany, one of the countries that will supply the missiles, has so far been careful not to be too conspicuous with respect to the Syrian crisis. However, it accepted the NATO plan without any objections. Considering the fact that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is on the outs with Chancellor Angela Merkel, it is interesting to see that there are no objections coming from Germany. Behind this silent agreement probably lies the desire of German soldiers to use the Trabzon port for withdrawal from Afghanistan.

On the other hand, alongside the “Patriot operation,” the meeting of the representatives of the Syrian armed opposition forces in Antalya is a sign of the new phase of the armed conflict. By saying that the meeting was within the knowledge of the government, Hüseyin Çelik, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson, tried to keep certain aspects of the operation quiet and manage public opinion. The Antalya meeting was only the tip of the iceberg. Many military people coming together at a five-star hotel in the tourist capital of Turkey without any security concerns and public discussion is no ordinary thing.

We will see whether the future will bring a civil war of all against all or a centralized military operation carrying the uprising to its next phase. The decentralized armed structure – the untrustworthy object of constant criticism – is functional in an insurgency aimed at disrupting the central authority. However, it cannot build a new political structure and produce stability.

The new military formation needs to address several problems. First of all, the biggest weakness is the lack of political unity. There is a major difference between those meeting at a five-star hotel and those fighting on the ground. Second, the centralization of armed groups is good military news for Bashar al-Assad. In this way, his army and intelligence will be facing not an invisible asymmetric enemy, but a symmetric enemy that is an open target. By downsizing the area to be defended, al- Assad is forcing the insurgents to solve many difficult problems. Finally, the sponsorship needs of the Syrian opposition will test the medium-term capacity of intelligence organizations, armies, countries and alliances. If German soldiers, who will be visiting this part of the world soon, plan on returning home after a couple of months like their grandfathers fighting in World War I, they might be wrong.


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Blue Dotterel

12/14/2012 6:57:44 PM

400 US soldiers and missiles are coming to Incirlik as well, and not because Turkey "demanded" them. NATO and the US in particular have long been trying to find a way to intervene in Syria and effect Regime change, so they could better attack Iran. Their mercenaries are incapable of overthrowing Assad, so the big boys need to go to plan B. Clearly they intend to set up a defacto no-fly zone and bomb Syria back to the stone age, alla Libya. The illegal invasion is coming soon.

Kerem Kemal

12/13/2012 11:12:59 PM

Dear Mara. For decades, I tried to accept the American foreign policy, but I failed. I can even say that I have become anti-American. Is it really the case that America wants to help us? If so, then why? Do you love us, or do you have pity on us? How would we feel today if we did not get any help?

mara mcglothin

12/13/2012 5:08:14 PM

KEREM Just FYI the USA has been helping Turkey for years and look at the thanks we get. We are bashed by Turks on this page everyday allday. Good deeds rarely go unpunished. You act like a second class state and you will be treated as such. Elect some politicians who know how to conduct themselves like statesmen rather than boorish bullies on the school yard and then see how Turkey is treated. Simple.

Kerem Kemal

12/13/2012 1:09:19 AM

The German soldiers were sent to convey the feeling that we are a full member of NATO. In reality we are a second class member. In state of defence no one of the other members would help us. Perhaps the US would, cause there is oil in the neighborhood.
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