10/10/2012

Turkey Is In A Fix. It Supports The Syrian Rebels But They Are Losing. So What Next?

Mehmet Ali writes from Ankara: More Turkish shelling of Syrian positions and more Syrian shelling of Turkish positions. Is this the prelude to war? How did Ankara get itself into a situation that appears to have no solution?
Recep Tayyip Erdogan - Caricature
Erdogan Cartoon illustration
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has got himself into a fix. Turkey appeared to be putting on the mantle of the Ottoman Empire – only this time promoting peace. But now everything has been turned upside down.

What changed things? The Arab Spring, in case you’re struggling to find an answer. Mr Erdogan decided he wanted to be on the side of the protesters. When trouble started in Syria, he immediately sided with the rebels. Not only did he do that but he allowed the Free Syrian Army to organise and use his country as a base from which to attack Syria. 

This turned out to be false. The Arab League got cold feet and the United States, after its chastening experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, was in no mood to intervene and begin nation building. It is also election year in America. So Turkey found itself alone. Even worse the rebels are losing.

middle east
The Arab Spring
Then there is the question of refugees. There are over a hundred thousand already in Turkey and the UN expects that to rise to several times that number. 

There must be a limit to the number of refugees Turkey can accommodate without a public backlash. Critics of Erdogan’s over ambitious policies warn that Turkey can sleepwalk into war with Syria. 

This would be its own Vietnam. The conflict might be endless. What would represent success and how would Turkey withdraw? 

These are extracts from the original article posted a few hours ago over on Stirring Trouble Internationally - A humorous take on news and current affairs - Turkey Is In A Fix. 
It Supports The Syrian Rebels But They Are Losing. So What Next?

Erdogan
Erdogan

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