July 14, 2016
Turkey Has A Change Of Heart
In Wednesday’s television address, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said he would be restoring relations with Syria, a massive shift in policy after five years of a civil war. All it took was deteriorated Turkish borders, security nightmares for city officials, threatened relationships with NATO and the EU, two million new refugees in their country and a worn down anti-government rebellion for Turkey to realize maybe this isn’t working. If Turkey really does normalize its relationship with the Syrian government, this could mean the end of the rebellion against Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
Why The Change?
It could simply be that after five years, they’re feeling burnt out. But the more likely reason is that the Turkish government sees Kurdish expansionism as a larger threat than Assad’s regime, and his removal is no longer – and perhaps never was – the priority. Turkey has long been criticized for targeting Kurdish fighting groups that were considered allies in fighting ISIS. Their change of policy could be an honest moment of clarity… or just lip service.