Recently, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, reportedly bombastically stated that Turkey and the United States, in cooperation, are ready to drive IS at the port of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the movement in the self-proclaimed caliphate. Turkey, however, has its own agenda, and it is not primarily about IS.
There is no doubt that Erdogan’s first priority is combating the Kurds and not IS. In the world of Erdogan, the Kurdish component of Syria represents the greatest threat to Turkey’s security. The IS is in itself a minor threat that can be handled. It also explains why Turkey did not close its border for entry into Syria or why they did not perform military operations in the area at an earlier time in the long-standing conflict. Because it was not necessary before now, when the Kurds are establishing themselves in the border area up to the Turkish border.
The announcement is strategically well thought out, well-placed and intended for more recipients. It positions Erdogan as a strong key player in Syria – stronger than Russia is understood. It is in itself a small tick with a wagon rod to Russian President Vladimir Vladimirovitj Putin, that Turkish interests should not be overlooked in the conflict. Another least important recipient is the different Kurdish parties and movements in Syria, first of all, the Kurdish working party, which in Turkey is considered a terrorist organization.
Erdogan already announced in connection with its recent military operations in Syria that all Kurdish parties, movements and power groups would immediately move away from the border area to Turkey. The nice team player, the United States, supported Turkey’s announcement and maintained that all Kurdish presence should withdraw, otherwise the American (financial) support would expire immediately.
A little precarious Kurdish problem
And that is precisely this little precarious Kurdish problem, which is actually the subject of Erdogan’s announcement. The classic tale of what is the one-man’s freedom fighter is the second man’s terrorist. For the United States, they support Kurdish parties, which Turkey has defined as terrorist organizations. With this in mind, military cooperation in Syria is all other things a slight affair for both parties. Perhaps mostly for the United States.
Seen in this light, it also explains the American reaction to Erdogan’s announcement; You did not want to confirm Erdogan’s opinion, but just referred to the fact that “local forces were involved in the struggle to deliver the crucial battle against IS “.
And what can you derive from that answer? It’s the kind of answer you can call “ a non-denial “. A kind of elusive answer, without a real denial. There is no real rejection of Erdogan’s opinion, but refers to the presence of local forces in the struggle. In other words, the answer is immediately indissoluble – you are tempted to speak without words. However, the underlying message is directed directly to Erdogan, with particular emphasis on the fact that the conflict can not be resolved without local reading: Kurdish presence.
A pink elephant in the living room
And here it is so the pink elephant is so elegant and silent enters the living room.
How can one really cooperate if Turkey’s primary interest is to eliminate the Kurdish presence, while the United States does not see it possible to resolve the conflict without Kurdish participation?
How long both countries can maintain this facade without being able to solve their mutual gordic knot, let alone set it, only time will show. But it undeniably weakens the very basis of the countries’ joint efforts in Syria.
If Turkey is in doubt about American support, however, one can indulge in unconditional Saudi Arabian support for Turkish foreign policy. At the same time as President Erdogan’s announcement, the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia was visiting Turkey. At an official press conference, the Saudi Arabian minister emphasized that he fully supported Turkey’s view of terrorism in Syria, Iraq and Yemen . The Turkish Foreign Minister also confirmed that Turkey naturally supports Saudi Arabia in the same. It is so convenient and convenient with these mutual support statements when both countries now each have their own own agenda in relation to Syria and Yemen, respectively.
Encouraged by the warm atmosphere, the Turkish Foreign Minister then announced that the country was preparing for the largest military operation in its history against Kurdish militias in southern Turkey. No further explanation was given for this. It was not necessary either.
Horizontal autumn for Turkey
It appears that the Turkish military is meeting a hectic fall; with the fight against IS – less detail in this context; combating Kurdish terrorist organizations in Syria, and Kurdish militia in the southern part of the country. Something of a task for a country that is still burdened with the aftermath of the recent foul military coup.
Creative Commons – Flickr – Kobane -foto: quapan