Defenseless Turkey in Syrian 'local' war

Defenseless Turkey in Syrian 'local' war

There has long been a “belief” that Turkey has been heavily involved in the ongoing civil war in Syria by helping anti-regime rebels in their fight against President Bashar al-Assad. That “belief” has become a staunch fact after the recent leak regarding the spying on the secret security meeting between the country’s top security and diplomatic officials at the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

Moreover, the existence of secret recordings of a high-level security meeting also showed the Turkish state has been left defenseless against a clandestine enemy, which was able to spy on one of the country’s top safeguarded post for more than a year. Top Turkish officials, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, were so quick in two issues: Blaming what they call the “parallel state” for the spying scandal and banning access to YouTube, on which the recordings were uploaded.

The overdosed daily-basis releases of previous secret recordings featuring the PM, his family members and many other officials’ voices have so far linked the government’s friend-turned-foe Hizmet (Service) Movement led by Fethullah Gülen, the self-exiled Turkish Islamic scholar in the United States. Putting blame on Hizmet was so easy for Erdoğan and his government officials on the eve of the local elections heavily tainted by the corruption scandal involving many senior officials.

But the high scale of the spying operation might exceed the power and will of Hizmet; thus, they might have used a hand that still seems “friendly” to the Turkish rulers. In that case, the threat Turkey has been facing has become bigger, considering that its many other secrets have been leaked to a third party or more. The desperate whodunit scenarios eventually ended up with nothing, since the real perpetrators will never be found.

Even the hopeless hunt was the clear hint that Turkey, under the Justice and Development Party (AKP), has become weaker than ever; weak, but not quite. The leaked recordings have proven the Turkish government was ready for a war to make Erdoğan “a national” or even “a regional” hero, who fiercely defended his country, as well as saved poor Syrians from their notorious leader.

Nevertheless, the truth is quite the opposite. In repeated speeches, Erdoğan called the Syrian crisis Turkey’s “internal matter,” meaning he could not leave his Syrian brothers to their ill fate. Apparently, the Syria issue was Turkey’s internal matter, but not in humanitarian terms, rather as a wild, bloody campaign to distract public attention from the ongoing corruption case on the eve of local elections. He did not mind about the fate of his Syrian brothers, since he was ready to send his own fellow citizens to a war.

The trouble is the Turkish government has failed in its campaign to support Syrian rebels as the top officials admitted they “missed many opportunities in the past” to alter the course of the civil war in Syria. Turkey was not only playing host to rebels, but also supporting, arming and training them, but Ankara’s efforts have fallen short due to Erdoğan’s reluctance to take responsibility. Instead, he was after putting the military in charge; so he could be able to skip being a scapegoat if the plan were to go all wrong.

But the Turkish military was not naïve and it also avoided being the star of the Syrian play. Turkey’s borders have been left to al-Qaeda-linked militants, while its citizens are exposed to possible violent attacks by Turkey-backed fighters. Still, that would not stop Turkey from attacking Syria. A covert-op led by the intelligence could be staged and “eight missiles could be thrown at Turkish soil from Syrian territory by four Turkish spies.” Now, Turkey has international legitimacy and support for its patriot campaign against Syria!

Not so fast. Because the Turkish government has been taken hostage by the so-called “parallel” hands and it has fallen prey to its own trap. Now the big question is, what would the Turkish government be able to do if a real attack is staged on its soil within and without Syria? What if the artificial war scenario becomes real? Would it be able to take any action against the attacker after this outrageous scandal or would it just sit with its hands tied up? Who would, in Turkey or abroad, believe and support the AKP government’s local war on Syria?