Ankara not eager to enter war
Everything was expected in Ankara but not the killing of five of our citizens by Syrian shelling. All of a sudden storms are breaking. Perhaps the government might be happy that the agenda has changed. Had it not been for Syria, today we would be probably talking about who will head the Justice and Development Party (Ak Party) after Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
From the first moments the incident was heard about, fear spread in public opinion. Everybody started asking, “Are we going to war?”
I understood that Turkey will not enter a war mood easily after talking to influential people.
I was relieved.
Both the civilian authority and the military acted with restraint. Scenarios were put in motion. There was focus on two options.
The first was the interpretation that these bombs were aimed at provocation, an initiative of Bashar al-Assad to push Turkey into war. This is a rational scenario. At this stage Turkey would have fallen into the guilty position if it attacked Syria. Entering a war because a couple of bombs dropped would have given the impression that Turkey was a warmonger, and it would have resulted in Russia and Iran extending more support to al-Assad than before.
The other option was that those bombs fell in Akçakale by accident. Those familiar with the Syrian army said this assumption could be right.
Ankara acted in an intelligent way.
On the one hand it retaliated and on the other it intensified diplomatic traffic.
It was important that the secretary-general of United Nations was mobilized and that NATO came up with a supportive statement. Especially the retaliatory bombing relieved public opinion. There is an impression that Turkey gave the proper answer.
It is more critical from now on
Let’s say, we have gotten over this incident. What’s going to happen from now on?
First the downing of the Turkish jet, now the bombs. If this trend continues Ankara will have to react with action.
If al-Assad wants to provoke Turkey and push Turkey to fall in contradiction with Washington ahead of the presidential elections in the United States on November 9, this type of accident can repeat. This is the danger.
The Ak Party government might not continue its restrained approach to satisfy Turkish public opinion.
Then all hell will break loose because Washington is against any armed conflict against Syria that could stem from an ally like Turkey ahead of presidential elections.
What I told Parliament’s coup commission
Actually I was really excited. I endorsed a different approach in my speech to the Parliament’s commission that is probing coups, since I have written four books and done documentaries about coups.
The May 27, 1960 coup was an insurrection and openly a revolution. March 12, 1971 was a weird internal fight.
September 12, 1980 is the mother of all coups. It left deep scars. Feb. 28 is a post-modern coup initiative.
I explained that the soldiers should not have solely taken responsibility for all these coups. We were all responsible.
Because our politicians could not say no to coups.
Because a part of the media provokes or cannot object.
Because nongovernmental organizations and some unions trail their coats.
And because the universities and retired lobby (soldiers, police, judicial, politicians) summon the soldiers. As I said before, we are all responsible. So there is no need to attempt a witch hunt.