Ankara must change tack on Syria to avoid a faceoff with Tehran

By Mohammed Ayoob
The Daily Star

Europe and the United States, which were initially uneasy with Turkey’s growing intimacy with its Muslim neighbors, have more recently hailed Ankara’s role as the spearhead of the international effort to bring down the pro-Iranian Syrian regime.

Antagonistic relations between Ankara and Damascus have also had negative repercussions on Turkey’s relations with Iran. On the positive side, Turkey’s relations with the West and the United States have improved as compared to the 2009-11 period as Turkey’s policies coincided with those of the U.S. and Europe vis-a-vis Syria and, therefore, indirectly vis-a-vis Iran.

Needless to say, this negative perception of Turkey was deliberately propagated by parties in the United States that would like to use Turkey’s relations with Israel as the yardstick for judging Ankara’s relations with Washington.

In the final analysis, Turkey’s improved relations with the West in 2012, including the American decision to deploy two Patriot missile batteries to Turkey’s border with Syria, are unlikely to compensate for problems Turkey faces to its east – problems likely to become more acute in 2013 if Ankara does not rapidly reevaluate its policy.

As time goes on, it will become difficult for Turkey to pull away from the Syrian quagmire.

Read more:
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::

Categories: Arab World, Asia, Iran, Turkey

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