Turkey’s Erdogan Flips Syria on Its Head
While we are all, rightfully, worried about what’s going on in Ukraine, those sneaky Russians are shoring up their situation on the south shores of the Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean.
As reported last week the meeting between Russia, Turkiye, and Syria took place between their Defense Ministers where they all described the talks as ‘constructive’ towards solving multiple outstanding issues like refugees and the backing of radicals.
This meeting was put in motion by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the Moscow Times article notes:
In November, Erdogan said a meeting with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad was a possibility, after cutting diplomatic ties with Damascus throughout the 11-year conflict.
In mid-December, he indicated that he could meet with Assad after the two countries’ defense and foreign ministers meet.
“We want to take a step as Syria, Turkey and Russia,” [emphasis mine] he said at the time.
The issues discussed are especially important for Erdogan as the protracted war is sapping his popularity at home in the face of an ongoing pull out of western capital from Turkey that has seen the lira go through what can only be described as a hyperinflation since 2018.
With elections on the horizon and Erdogan’s position tenuous for the first time in his political career, moves need to be made now to improve things. Allowing the millions of Syrian refugees the opportunity to go home would be a big win for Erdogan politically.
This is also a good use of Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Defense Minister, since he’s not in charge of the operation in Ukraine and hasn’t been since October, with good reason.
Shoigu, I’m sure, has been preparing for this meeting for months, laying the groundwork for talks between Turkiye and Syria that are long overdue.
As Alex Mercouris pointed out in a recent Duran video, Turkiye’s president Erdogan set three steps for a resolution of the conflict between it and Syria. This meeting of the Defense Ministers is the 2nd of them.
The Foreign Ministers are now clear to meet. Presumably, after that, Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will meet with the Russians as negotiator to hammer out an official end to Turkiye’s involvement in the Syrian War which began more than a decade ago.
Without Turkiye’s involvement in Syria, the Neocons’ goal of strangling Russia on gas imports to Europe never happens. This was the main impetus behind the Syrian War in the first place. To get him on board, Erdogan had to be bribed with a massive land grab, which he’s tried to accomplish.
But when he didn’t do enough to start a war with Russia in November 2015 after Turkiye supposedly shot down a Russian SU-24, he was rewarded with a coup attempt against him led by the CIA and US military out of the Incerlik airbase, by all accounts.
He was saved, apparently, by an early warning from Putin and ferried out to Iran to issue his counter-attack orders to the Turkish military on the night of the coup attempt.
This was the beginning of the end of Turkiye’s relationship with NATO and the US.
The road between Turkey and Russia to this point has been incredibly rocky. Putin has been exceedingly patient with Erdogan over a dozen issues, his back-pedaling and, at times, double-dealing.
But the reality is that, like him or not, every year since Russia’s move into Syria Erdogan has acted in his interest, creating leverage on the ground by taking territory in Syria, making outrageous claims against the Eastern Mediterranean, while playing the West and Russia
Article from LewRockwell