Turkey Plans to Reconsider its Policy in Syria: Former Official

Turkey Plans to Reconsider its Policy in Syria: Former Official
Thu Oct 13, 2016 12:23:48

The former deputy head of intelligence at the Turkish General Staff İsmail Hakkı Pekin has said that Ankara is now changing its policy regarding Syria.

“I think  that it won’t be long before Turkey stops listening to Washington and starts working closer with Russia and establishing contacts with Damascus to end the war in Syria and from this point of view President Putin’s visit to Ankara will signal a very important change in our policy in Syria,” İsmail Hakkı Pekin said; Sputnik News reported.

Mentioning a recent interview by Bashar Assad where the  Syrian president talked about the possibility of engaging in direct talks with Turkey, he  said it was a good sign of Ankara being “ready to reconsider its policy in Syria.” “Ankara should coordinate its actions with Syria, Russia, Iran and Iraq.

The US wants to carve up Syria and if Ankara keeps toeing Washington’s line, this could eventually lead to the breakup of Turkey itself, which is something neither the West nor Russia would like to happen,” he continued. Speaking about the current chill in Turkey’s relations with Iraq, İsmail Pekin said that the US wants to keep Turkey away from the operation to liberate Mosul because it sees it as a threat to the political order America wants to establish in Iraq.

“The US fears that Turkey could unravel its plans in Iraq where the Kurdistan Workers’ Party maintains a strong presence. Hence the recent resolution by the Iraqi parliament  [protesting against the continued Turkish military presence in Iraq] and strongly-worded statements by Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Abadi,” Pekin noted.

He added that by distancing itself from the Iraqi government Turkey was playing right into Washington’s hands. “We need to strengthen our positions in neighboring Iraq where PKK fighters stationed in Qandil pose a constant threat to us. We also need to ensure the security of Iraqi Turkmens and put an end to the conflict near our border,” İsmail Pekin emphasized.

He also said that Turkey should give up on the so-called “neo-Ottomanic doctrine” as the groundwork of its foreign policy. “This does not mean keeping aloof from the problems now facing the Middle East. Turkey is a major regional player, and it should contribute to the ongoing efforts to resolve these problems,” Pekin noted, adding that Turkey simply had no resources to pursue the neo-Ottomanic policy that will lead to the breakup of Turkey, Iraq and Syria and will add strength to Washington’s pet project of a Greater Middle East.

“With Aleppo coming back to Damascus’ control and Raqqa liberated by Syrian government forces this would prevent the creation of the so-called “Kurdish corridor.” Turkey must be part of the settlement process in Syria but, first of all, it should engage with the central governments in Iraq and Syria, and also with Russia and Iran. This is the only way we can offset US influence in the region. But if Turkey embarks on an ethnic- and religious-minded policy this war will rage on for another 15 years and kill many innocent people,” he emphasized.


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