Turkey is gearing down in Syria
Turkey is hitting the brakes on the issue of Syria, some news reports claim. As a matter of fact, the voice of the government is not as loud as it used to be. It looks as if the tempo has slowed down. I think Turkey is doing the right thing.
At the beginning, mostly with the agitation of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, we set off as a large group headed by Washington and Europe. For the sake of humanity, despite Russia and Iran, the Bashar al-Assad dictatorship should have been brought to an end. If need be, there would be embargoes imposed and no-fly buffer zones formed, leaving al-Assad with no breathing space.
And it was our roaring voice that was heard the most.
We yelled and cried a lot and have been dragging him through the mud until now. We gave him five- or six-month deadlines. It didn’t happen. We raised our voice more. We thought he would not be able to resist too long and would leave in a few months; it didn’t happen. We postponed the deadline to one to two years; again, it didn’t happen.
We opened our doors; we accepted Syrian refugees. We said we would be able to handle them until their numbers reach 50,000. Now, they are reaching 100,000. But, they are still flowing in; the costs are reaching $400 million. Nobody seems to be willing to contribute either.
We provided facilities for the Syrian opposition in our lands. Not knowing most of the details, we did what we could. Then we saw that their power was not sufficient. On top of that, all of a sudden, we found ourselves being accused of “arming the Syrian opposition, providing bases for them.”
Frankly, we jumped into dangerous waters first, thinking we were leading other nations that we assumed would jump together; however, we looked back and saw that no one was behind us. We have been left all alone. Moreover, the Washington that set off together with us is now holding us back. It wanted us to calm down. It urged us not to conduct a military intervention.
Well, why? Why did the calculations not come out as we expected?
First, the presidential elections in the United States are close. U.S. President Barack Obama does not want to take any risks. There is no guarantee after the elections either. Regardless of who sits in the White House, nobody is in favor of a military intervention. Because the American public does not want to send its children to wars in Middle Eastern deserts and spend trillions of dollars anymore. It is fed up with continuous casualties and losses. The Iraq and Afghanistan experiences have hurt everyone.
Another reason why the West took the government change in Syria so slowly is the worries over the Christians living in the country, and more importantly, the questions of Israel on who will rule Syria after al-Assad.
When questions such as “What if after al-Assad, Islamic fundamentalists take over power and end secularism?” started being asked, this time both the United States and Europe hit the brakes.
Turkey raised its voice, it cried; it said, “Help the Syrian people for the sake of humanity.” It cried, “You are committing crime against humanity;” nobody listened.
It did not serve anybody’s interest to upset the equilibrium Syria had set up.
Especially when Iran stood behind al-Assad with all its power, the Baath government nowadays has been able to breathe again. It is indefinite how long this will last.
Ankara used to issue a statement almost every week. When the situation is like this, voices are hushed. It was said that the number of Syrian refugees was not to increase at this pace. The Syrian opposition has said it has moved its headquarters from Turkish soil to the liberated zones in Syria.
We will now proceed in a lower gear as we now have to make a turn after speeding excessively in the beginning.