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Could Turkey Go To War With Syria?

Turkish military armored personnel carriers take positions on the Turkish-Syrian border near the Akcakale border crossing on October 4.
Turkish military armored personnel carriers take positions on the Turkish-Syrian border near the Akcakale border crossing on October 4.

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By Charles Recknagel
The Turkish government has been given the green light to send troops into Syria if it decides such action is needed.
 
The question now is whether Turkey plans to do so.
 
Tensions continue to rise, with October 8 marking the sixth straight day the two countries had exchanged cross-border artillery salvos.
 
Coming after the Turkish government obtained approval from its parliament on October 4 for military operations outside its border, continued cross-border shelling heightens the prospects of war.
 
But for now, according to observers, that is not likely to happen.
 
Sinan Ulgen, chairman of the Center for Economics and Policy Studies (EDAM) in Istanbul, says "the Turkish government wants to deter future Syrian aggression and that is why it is taking all these steps."
 
"So, if deterrence works in this case and the message gets across, the hope is that it will help to deescalate and defuse the tension," Ulgen says.

He notes that the Turkish parliament's granting Ankara permission for a year to send troops to Syria places Turkey on a war footing that Syria cannot ignore.
 
But that does not mean that Turkey's sole interest in the Syrian crisis is simply preventing future border incidents.
 
Ankara has been among the most vocal states in calling for regime change in Syria and for international intervention to stop the killing of civilians.
 
And it has pressing reasons to do so.
 
One is the influx of Syrian refugees across its borders. Officially, there are more than 93,000 refugees in a network of camps along Turkey's border with Syria. Up to 50,000 more Syrian refugees are reported to be living outside the camps in Turkey.
 
But equally worrisome for Ankara are fears the chaos in Syria is helping to fan the resurgence of fighting between Ankara and armed Kurdish separatists in Turkey.
 
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay accused Damascus last week of directly aiding the Kurdish rebel Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). "Syria uses the terrorist organization PKK against Turkey with all its negative attitudes and policies," he said.
 
Little Public Support For War

Ankara gave a measure of the scale of the fighting with the PKK when it announced last month 500 Kurdish rebels had been "rendered ineffective" by Turkish forces in the space of four weeks.
 
Yet if those are reasons why Turkey might want to take action against Syria, for now it seems determined not to act unilaterally.
 
Ulgen says one reason is little public support within Turkey for intervention.
 
"The majority of the Turkish population finds the government policy on Syria too hawkish and many people think that what happens in Syria is a concern for the Syrians and the international community should not intervene," Ulgen says.
 
That leaves Ankara thinking in terms of joining a larger international coalition.
 
Turkey has been among the most vocal members of the Friends of Syria, a group of countries seeking to step up pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad while the Security Council remains blocked by Russian and Chinese opposition. The Turkish government has called for setting up safe-haven zones and humanitarian corridors to protect Syrian civilians.
 
Turkey appears most interested in involving its fellow NATO members. It has turned to the alliance each time it has clashed with Syria, calling for -- and getting -- emergency meetings not only over this week's border shelling but also over Syria's downing of a Turkish military jet, killing two pilots, in June.
 
Ankara's referral of both these incidents to NATO could be seen as efforts to prepare the way for eventually asking the defense alliance to intervene in Syria on grounds that member Turkey has been attacked.
 
But, as experts on NATO point out, such a request alone would not necessarily spur the alliance into action.
 
Barbara Zanchetta, a security expert at the Geneva Center for Security Policy, which is based in Switzerland, says action would not be "automatic."
 
"The NATO Council has to decide whether or not they will support the country that has been attacked and usually would have to support by consensus, without any objection," Zanchetta said.
 
For now, neither Turkey nor its key NATO members seem ready to take such final steps.
 
In the wake of last week's border shelling, the alliance said only that it "continues to stand by Turkey and demands the immediate cessation of such aggressive acts against an ally."
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Camel Anaturk from: Kurdistan
October 08, 2012 13:23
The turkeys may be wild,but not that stupid to start a WW III which will send them where they belong-the junkyards of history.Billions of $$$ help for decade all kinds of millitary,economic& intelligence help from the demockratic west has turned cold turkey into a model for all muslim moderates and radicals as well -Hamas voiced its 100% support recently at the akp con gress,and now the wily eunuchs want NATO to do the dirty work for them.The regions` problems will be solved when Anatolia becomes a federation between its native populations and the invading marauders become part of their native mongrel mongol union.Amen!!!

by: Gordon Ball from: Ottawa Canada
October 08, 2012 13:32
Why would the Syrians want to provoke Turkey?

by: Bill Webb from: Phoenix Arizona USA
October 08, 2012 15:09
Up until as recently as a couple years ago, the facade of stability in Syria seemed to be holding up quite well. Now, the seeming self destruction of the Assad regime is being seen by all the countries without popularly elected governments as a bad omen of the future. We all know who the holdouts are.

by: Alex from: LA
October 08, 2012 15:38
The Jewish lobbyist have taught them well the lesson of self-victimization. Its obvious that they are lying and this report makes it seem what the Turks say is absolute truth, that they don't lie about things to service their purpose. This is mostly lies here. There is absolutely no proof of Syrian Army of shelling, it's Turkish agents within Syria firing at Turkey, to make a great excuse. The truth will come out soon, with wikileaks and anonymous in this world now, all the bs will float to the top eventually.

by: Muslim
October 08, 2012 16:25
the current Syrian regime has significant popular support. This was confirmed in January 2012 by a survey conducted by YouGov, a group affiliated with the BBC’s Doha Debates, which found that 55% of Syrians want Bashar al-Asad to remain President.

It is a fact that it would be impossible for Bashar al-Assad to remain in power after months long of a foreign led proxy-war that killed thousands of Syrian security personnel, if Assad’s regime did not have significant popular support. Bashar al-Assad’s ability to secure the survival of a centralized Syrian state apparatus definitely caught many by surprise. Davutoglu’s statement shows that the AKP is beginning to realize that it blindly pursued Washington’s unattainable goal.

Erdogan’s gung-ho acceptance of the US plan on Syria pitted Muslims against Muslims, a policy objective Israel and the US could only dream about.

For deep analysis on the Syrian events I suggest we all read Crescent International.
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
October 09, 2012 05:03
It isn't USA language, they don't understand it,
It is old colonial empires handwriting, as Russia.
And it is race war, Suni Pan-Arab World Halifat
Agreed, to peacefy Arabs by US leading mafia,
That in our days look like Russia proxie's aria.

US and Israel will only loose, if war emerges.
It will be expansion of old Empires to merge.
They also will loose...

by: David Beck
October 08, 2012 23:10
Syria is another byproduct of France and Britain trying to carve up the former Ottoman dominions and, in fact, the entire Middle East alongside their petty colonial interests after World War I. For centuries before that, the people of this region lived in relative peace and tranquility regardless of their ethnic and religious differences. So if Turkey, the only truly democratic Muslim nation and NATO ally, can help to restore that peace, without attempting to exercise the Ottoman imperial desires, then this may be the right chance. One thing I don't understand is how Bashar al-Assad and his clique of war criminals imagine to remain in power after all the mass murders they commit against their own people. In best case, their next destination is The Hague.

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
October 09, 2012 03:00
It is clear who's muddying the waters..
Kremlin ordered Assad provoke Turkey to war to prolong the agony of the regime...It is known that external factors distract attention from domestic.
Russian military advisers serving Syrian missile launchers, which were delivered to Syria on the orders of Putin..they shot down a Turkish aircraft,now, on their advice Syrians shelled Turkish territory.
Putin is totally dependent on oil and gas .. We see how to open the fuel lines and planned to build a new gas pipeline bind Europe to Russian raw materials аnd of course, Putin wants to have a good energy price to advance his projects and hold the power..
This requires local wars, terrorism, murder of various political figures..West as always conducts a policy of double standards,pandering to Putin and turning a blind eye to the crimes of Putin's regime....(then as usual everyone will crу)

Therefore, the wars will go continuously will commit terrorist acts-Company of friends to select suitable:
Putin
Chavez,
Assad,
Noriega,
аbkhaz racists,
palestinian terrorists
somali pirates......


In Response

by: Camel Anaturk from: kurdistan
October 09, 2012 13:42
Aaaaah,Putin,Chavez,Assad,abkhaz racists,palestinian terrorists,somali pirates,Vakhtangs,Eugenios,Jacks...Gimme back my AK47!!!
In Response

by: Vakhtang from: Moscow
October 10, 2012 05:35
I apologize to ladies and gentlemen...
I published a partial list...on the list no man named camel. who is a danger to the civilized community..

I'm going to restore historical justice:
аbkhaz racists,
palestinian terrorists
somali pirates
camel.....
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
October 13, 2012 22:24
You are sertainly right, Vakhtang, but your tango,
With using undisputed facts - almost silent, no music,
Bigger picture evolving on our eyes, 1954 plan, Vakhtango,
Might help to understand why Russia damaging Syria - using,
As Gorby advised to China too, brutal methods to lok like tyrant:

Russia, Britain, Germany and Austria with a supliment-Empire,
World "Halifat", would squash all remaning free people - to fry
Nations and races. Georgia and Caucasus, Turkey and Iran,
Middle East and Central Asia will gone, as Russian Chiftan
In Constantinopol by all "Pravoslavnyiy" would be prayed.

Even worse that USA, country of processed immigrants
Fail to understand. Even Persians, Arabs and Ottomans
New that millions of years of evolution formed all people
They kidnapped, leaving invaded genetic pools still ripple,
As by 1954 pact and "Hallifat", be left alife only few races:

Prashkas-Germanica-inferrior, Normans-Britts-cannibals,
Chaldean-dervishes and Arabs-Ishmaelites and Levites -
Another Chaldean, as suplemental to "Germano-Nordics".
It World survive termo-nuclear end and nature's cataclizm
Who'd be left plagiarize-exploit, ros-greyish but Macaques?

Syria dragged in be by Muslim Arab-race "halifat" cleansed
Out of genuid ethnoces there - years in advance Germans,
British and Russians forged pseudo-Archeology for a base
For such actions in Temple of Weather God, where Hetian
Caucasians be cleansed by "Chaldea-Palestin-Arabs" race.

by: Eugenio from: Vienna
October 09, 2012 05:41
The sooner Turkey drags NATO into a war in Syria the better: after the humiliating defeats that the Beavuses and Buttheads have suffered in Iraq and are suffering in Afghanistan, one more war in Asia will finally put an end to the existence of this alliance of bankrupt losers.

by: Halil from: Türkiye
October 09, 2012 09:21
Turks have no intention to fight. On the other hand, if it is not avoidable and absolutely necessary for the very survival, then, unfortunately might take place. There are no fundamental difference between Turks and Syrians Arabs in the region on many issues. I have no problem whatsoever with my Arab brothers and sisters. I believe this artificial problem will be solved soon, and friendship will win...
In Response

by: Muslimin from: CID
October 10, 2012 00:40
We support you Turkish brothers.
From: Chechnya, Ingushetia, Dagestan (CID).
In Response

by: Alex from: LA
October 10, 2012 06:44
We all know that Muslim blindly support Muslim no matter if they do it righteously or not, Muslim. Thats how you guys have mujaheddin. As long as Islam wins, enslaves, rapes, murders and assimilates the losers. So don't feel bad that your CID are assimilated into Russians, you should be happy look at Native Americans they got only casinos on worst land in USA.
In Response

by: Kavkaz
October 10, 2012 11:01
We are not native Americans. We are North Caucasians. We are hundred times smarter than you and don't tease yourself we broke spines of many "super" empires. It just a matter of time when your spine will be broken and we will settle you behind Urals. We are not worried about it, that is our prophecy, that is our destiny.
In Response

by: Rick from: milan
October 10, 2012 02:10
turkey must be very very quiet
because with a war
it can be self destroyed by its big internal problems

Turkey is a relativly young country
with a not easy pact of unon
between its several different souls

Turkish nation exists because it can guarantee peace

if it loses peace

loses the whole nation
In Response

by: Kavkaz
October 10, 2012 11:03
Rick shut up or they will unleash Hayreddin Barbarossa who will demolish your silly empire.
In Response

by: Rick
October 11, 2012 01:39
if I should say
that I understood what you write
I would be a liar .

ANYWAY

you are a kavkaz , may be an Adighe
a population from Kavkaz
that lives in Syria and in turkey

A clear example about how
those country
aren't ethnically homogeneous
In Response

by: rick
October 11, 2012 02:05
for your pleasure , KavKaZ:

Is a Turkey-Syria conflict inevitable?

Source:
Al Jazeera

http://aje.me/T98e21


Inside Syria
Is a Turkey-Syria conflict inevitable?


It was a week in which the Syrian conflict spilled over the Turkish border with deadly impact.

Five Turkish civilians were killed in mortar fire that originated from within Syria and the Turkish government responded by placing the country on a virtual war footing.

Recep Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister, sought and got permission from parliament to take whatever military action is deemed necessary, including the deployment of forces into Syria.

In a rare show of unity, all members of the UN Security Council condemned the mortar attack but avoided any debate about invoking Chapter Seven which would allow economic sanctions and even military action.

There was also verbal condemnation from NATO but that is where it ended as there was no question of invoking Article 5 of NATO's charter that would require all the organisation's members to defend Turkey.

The international allies clearly signalled that if Turkey was going to take military action inside Syria it would do so alone.

"Turkey is trapped between national honour and national interest, the national honour required that Erdogan responded in some way that shows toughness and resolve and would intimidate the Syrians from further action across the border. On the other hand, the national interest is to stay out of Syria. Syria is a potential Vietnam for Turkey, it's a swamp. It could suck Turkey in and cost Erdogan a great deal."

- Joshua Landis, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies

And what could complicate things further for the Erdogan government is the increasing domestic criticism.

The official opposition insists that what it describes as Ankara's skewed support of the Syrian opposition has made the situation worse.

And in a warning to Damascus, Erdogan said that testing Turkey would be a "fatal mistake".

"We are not interested in war, but we're not far from it either. Those who attempt to test Turkey's deterrence, its decisiveness, its capacity, I say here they are making a fatal mistake."

So, with Turkey now essentially on war footing, is escalation inevitable?

Inside Syria, with presenter Mike Hanna, discusses the situation with guests: Yasar Yakis, a member of the Turkish parliament, a founding member of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development party, also a former foreign minister and a former ambassador to the UN Office in Vienna, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia; Haldun Solmazturk, a retired brigadier-general; and Joshua Landis, the director of the Center for Middle East Studies and an associate professor of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Oklahoma.

"This one-sided policy, aiming to remove Bashar al-Assad by intervention in the domestic affairs of our neighbour, really intensified the conflict, sharpened the conflict, and probably resulted in more deaths than would have [occurred] otherwise."

Faruk Logoglu, the head of Foreign Relations of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP)
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
October 14, 2012 20:39
My comprehencive message was destroyed just now by
spies.
I spent a lot of time on it!
Eugenio's Rashka-Prashka mob again?
In Response

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
October 15, 2012 04:22
There is no insult to Turkey's Honor, but only "provocatciya",
By imperial resurrectors, Russia, Britain, Germany-Austria
And instigated by them to ignore ethnic rights USA-NATO
That makes peace with Arabs and oblivion as pan-Arabia
By imperial resurrectors forges supplemental "Halifatio".

Local Turks are relatives with local Syrians population
That must overrun made-up by imperial resurrection
Halifat and biffed-up Suni-Shia "hate" and civil wars.
They both comprised from pre-Georgia South-West
As Hetia-Lidia Common Wealthes - with an addition:

Local Kurds, south of Ararat, were South Georgians,
Turkmen in Turkestan were half pre-Georgians too,
From South-East Median and Caspian Albanians
Common Wealth. Still, if honor forced by "wodoo"
Or Syria "wodooed" by Russia, war can happen.


by: William from: Aragon
October 09, 2012 21:29
Turkey is a major power in the Middle-East. She has the right to hit back if provoked, but I do not believe that military conflict is required - sometimes chest-beating is all that is necessary to illustrate a point. Additionally, Israel has recently boarded a Turkish ship in international waters and killed a dozen Turkish peace-protesters on their way to Palestine - there was no military conflict then, so what makes Syria different.
In Response

by: Alex from: LA
October 10, 2012 06:31
because Israel and turkey are in the pocket of USA and Syria is in the pocket of China and Russian Federation, if you had an understanding of this world, you would think why?
In Response

by: Major
October 10, 2012 14:03
Are you sure there were no consequences for Israel in this conflict? Think again.
On the other hand Israel killed people who were going on a specific mission to break the blockade. They were all determined and it was ONE unfortunate accident.

In case of racist Syria and band of Alavites constantly shelling Turkish border with howitzers and killing civilian children both Arab and Turks. That must be stopped. If it was one isolated incident just like with Israel I agree Turks would overreact, but it was not a single attack. Syrians attacked Turkey many times and killed many Turkish citizens. Yeah including recent F-4 in neutral waters, and even further back the weather plane. Turks showed restraint. They cannot keep their peaceful attitude forever. Sometimes they need to fight back.

P.S. Turkey is a very peaceful country, they didn't even take part in WWII, Libya, and Iraq wars.
In Response

by: William from: Aragon
October 11, 2012 01:42
"Are you sure there were no consequences for Israel in this conflict? Think again."

Hello Major, you now have me intrigued - in your view what were those consequences? (Please do not included world opinion; I do not believe that the current government of Israel cares about that.)

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