It is more difficult for Turkey now
The rescue of the hostages was the best news of the past weeks. Turkey has overcome this difficulty with a lot of patience; now it faces other difficulties.
Let us remember that the civil war in Syria has been going on for more than three-and-a-half years. So many people have died in the rebellion against the Bashar al-Assad administration that even human rights organizations cannot count it anymore. Cities have been flattened; hundreds of thousands of people have left their homes, taking shelter in neighboring countries.
What did the West do? What did Russia do? What did China do? Nobody moved a finger before these deaths. This inaction has fueled the flow of foreign fighters. Thousands of “jihadists” from all over the world poured into the region. Again, nobody moved a finger.
Until when? It was until this threat transformed into the fear of its possible targeting of the West. Until the terror organization that was created by the U.S.’s Iraq intervention started threatening its regional allies. Until the Yazidis were forced to flee to Şengal Mountain. Until an American journalist was brutally beheaded. Until certain oil wells in Iraq and Syria were in the hands of ISIL and other jihadist groups.
Well, what does the U.S. want to do now? It wants to eradicate ISIL with air strikes. For this, it is trying to form a wide coalition. On the ground, Kurds and Syrian and Iraqi opponents will fight ISIL, while the U.S. and its allies will support from the air and provide intelligence.
It was only on Aug. 9, when U.S. President Barack Obama told the New York Times that it was only a fantasy to assume that if the secular opposition is armed, the situation in Syria would change. Now, the same American administration is seeking help from these opposition forces against ISIL.
Well, how do we know that this strategy will not prove to be a “fantasy” after a while?
If we come to the point, the fact that ISIL was holding 49 hostages was a strong excuse for Turkey not to join the coalition led by the U.S. As a matter of fact, with the release of our hostages, it was this question that stood out in the Western media commentaries was this: “What will Turkey do now?”
It is extremely important that the government has secured the release of the hostages. But at the same time, our citizens were such a huge prize for ISIL - much more than any ransom - that they would never have wanted to lose them easily. Therefore, what is being wondered now is whether the concessions ISIL has gained in return for freeing the hostages will tie the hands of our government.
When it comes to ISIL, in recent days it has attacked Kobane and Kurdish villages, sending tens of thousands of Kurds to the Turkish border.
While we rejoiced over the release of the hostages, we faced a human tragedy. Now, Turkey has double pressure. On one hand there is migration, on the other hand there is the insistence of the West.
Ankara has to make critical decisions in the coming days. But it has to consider all of these, including the fact that ISIL is a threat to Turkey. The U.S. plan does not have the capacity to generate a solution. The uncontrolled supply of arms to various groups will produce new problems.
There should be a plan of the allies to end the civil war in Syria with a political solution. While Turkey is making these calculations, it should not be forgotten that Turkey first became a NATO member so that it would be protected against bigger threats.