What is Turkey’s priority: Security or al-Assad?

What is Turkey’s priority: Security or al-Assad?

I am a citizen of the Republic of Turkey. I have a daughter and two grandchildren. I have fulfilled all citizenship duties for my country. I have no criminal record. I pay all my taxes. When the bomb exploded in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet Square the other day, the following question occurred to me: Is the safety and happiness of Turkish citizens most important, or is the toppling of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad more important for my country?  

For us, is it more important to be free from the trouble of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or is it more important to be free from the trouble of al-Assad? 

The entire world is now making plans to prioritize security. The priority is getting rid of the trouble of ISIL. 

The bloody organization first hit us in our bleeding spot, in the southeast. Then it took the life of more than 100 people in our capital, the most symbolic city of our state. Now, it has hit us and our guests in the most symbolic square of our country, one that the entire world knows. 

This itinerary of massacres is conscious, calculated, merciless, and inhuman. It targets our life, peace, economy and reputation. Shouldn’t fighting against such an organization be our first priority? 

When the topic is debated at the National Security Council, doesn’t anyone think of asking this question? 

To down or not to down 

Anyway, why did Turkey opt to facilitate the work of Russia and al-Assad by shooting down the Russian plane in November? 

Hürriyet and Hürriyet Daily News writer Verda Özer, who tests the pulse of Ankara diplomacy very well, asked this question to a Foreign Ministry official. She received this answer: “If we hadn’t downed the plane, we would never have known whether Russian planes would continue violating our border the next day. They could even have entered Turkish territory, copied our radar systems, and shared the data with countries like Iran and Syria.”

So the cost of downing the plane was Turkey losing all its mobility across the whole of Syria, while the cost of not downing the plane could have been all the above. 

Well, one has happened, the other “could have happened.” Do you think the official gave the right answer? 

Work permits for Syrians 

We do know that 600,000 Syrians will start working, for cheap wages, within six months? Whoever claims that these 600,000 people will not cause any problems in the workplace is wrong.

We do know that in every country in the world a work permit is the first step to becoming a citizen? Whoever says that citizenship being granted to 600,000 people won’t cause any trouble in society is wrong.

We do know that if this process is not well-managed, if all segments of society are not well-informed and well-trained, and if the Syrians’ adaptation to Turkey is not well-provided, we will face very serious problems?

We do know that within one generation at the most, radicalization tendencies among these refugees will increase and Turkey will have a new issue to deal with?

Question for the justice minister 

Justice Minister Bekir Bozdağ recently asked: “When two states have a problem, in what country in the world does the opposition, civil society and intellectuals opt to side with the other country, not their own?”

It sounds like a correct question, but here’s another one: “What country in the world is so angry with each of its neighbors, intervening so much in their domestic affairs?”