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Former Turkish Official: Assad Fall May Lead to Chaos in Syria

Yasar Yakis, Turkey's Former Foreign Minister, said the situation between Turkey and Syria could get worse if Assad falls because chaos will hit Syria first and Turkey second, in an interview with Al-Monitor's Barbara Slavin. He went so far as to say that the Syrian shoot-down of a Turkish plane could could lead to more communication.
A window, broken by a stray bullet from clashes between the Syrian army and the rebels on Monday, is seen at a refugee camp named "Container City" in the province of Kilis April 13, 2012. Most of the refugees in Turkey are located in the provinces of Gaziantep and Hatay. Authorities have also erected a container city in the province of Kilis where 9,000 people are staying. So many refugees have fled the violence in Syria that Turkey has begun accepting international aid to help share the cost of the caring

Former Turkish Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis, one of Turkey’s longest-serving diplomats, said the situation between Turkey and Syria might actually get worse if President Bashar al-Assad leaves or is overthrown because chaos will hurt Syria first and Turkey second. “The Syrian question is more complex than we all think” and the answer is not foreign military intervention, but a negotiated solution with the Assad regime, he said in an interview with Al-Monitor Washington correspondent Barbara Slavin on Wednesday. Yakis, an expert on the Arab world who helped establish the ruling AKP party in 2001, criticized Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for breaking diplomatic ties with Syria last year and went so far as to say that the June 22 Syrian shoot-down of a Turkish military plane could enable the two countries to restore channels of communication. Excerpts of the interview follow:

Al-Monitor: How do you think Erdogan is handling the shoot-down and will he be able to prevent the outbreak of real hostilities with Syria?

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