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MEHMET Y. YILMAZ

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MEHMET Y. YILMAZ >Taking the road to disaster in Syria

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“I am laughing about Russia’s approach,” said President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan when answering Russian claims that Turkey is preparing a military operation in Syria.

Next day he was asked whether there could be a de-facto situation in Syria.

This is what he said:

“We do not want to fall into the same mistake in Syria like we did in Iraq. I supported the March 1 motion. Those who were against it never said it openly. If the March 1 motion was accepted and Turkey was present in Iraq, the country would have never have fallen into its current situation. For those who might not recall what the March 1 motion was, let me recall that it was officially named “the motion of the Prime Ministry on giving authority to the government to send Turkish armed forces to foreign countries and to receive foreign armed forces in Turkey.”

Had the Turkish parliament not voted against this motion, the United States Army would have entered Northern Iraq against Saddam from Turkish territory, opening one more front from Turkey. Turkish Armed Forces would have established a “secure zone” on the Iraqi side of the frontier and tried to prevent the developments that created the current situation in Northern Iraq.

President Erdoğan said currently there is no need for a similar motion for Syria, because the authority is already given to soldiers.

The day President Erdoğan said he was laughing, Saudi Arabia announced that it would support a military operation of coalition forces led by the United States against Syria.

As you might know, Turkey signed military alliance agreements a while ago with Saudi Arabia and Qatar “against common enemies.” We will construct a military base in Qatar. There will be a full-fledged military cooperation with Saudi Arabia!

Add all this up with President Erdoğan’s statement that Turkey will not fall into the same mistake as the March 1 motion, and we are faced with a horrifying picture.

It appears that we are heading towards a wrong road that will further increase and aggravate the mistakes committed initially.

This road can only lead to disaster.

Being a guest in a foreign country requires a code of conduct

President Erdoğan’s body guards thought they were in Turkey and using force, kicked out those who were protesting the speech of the president delivered at a hall in Quito, Ecuador’s capital.

During the ordeal, the nose of an Ecuadorian parliamentarian was broken and a female protestor was seriously harassed.

The foreign minister of Ecuador criticized those who protested Erdoğan, who was a guest in their country, and said this was a shameful sign of disrespect. But he nevertheless did add that “there is freedom of expression in Ecuador and Turkey’s security forces cannot intervene against people who express themselves.”
Obviously attacks of this kind against a state official who is a guest is not something acceptable.

In fact, the Ecuadoran police dispersed those who were demonstrating outside of the hall.

But it is very disrespectful to the host country when you start doing the job of the host country’s police.

The president’s team of bodyguards’ similar practices in Turkey has become routine.

Yet they should not forget that they are guests in the countries they go and that their duty is only to protect the president against physical violence.

And it is also their prime duty to protect Turkey’s international reputation.

February/08/2016

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