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Turkey’s Syria Policy in Shambles Over Support for Jihadists

A host of misjudgments by the Erdogan government about Syria, including reliance on radical Islamists, has led to new headaches for Turkey.
A man checks an apartment on a damaged building at the site of a blast in the town of Reyhanli in Hatay province, near the Turkish-Syrian border, May 13, 2013. Syria's information minister has blamed Turkey's government for deadly car bombings near the Syrian border and branded Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan a "murderer", state-run Russian TV company RT reported on Monday. It said he repeated a denial of Syrian involvement in car bombings that killed 46 people on Saturday in the Turkish border town of Reyhan

Developments in Syria continue to take unexpected and unsavory turns for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, whose overreaching and one-dimensional Syria policy — predicated solely on the fall of President Bashar al-Assad and his Baathist regime while smacking heavily of Sunni leanings — has resulted in new headaches for Ankara.

Misguided assumptions about Assad’s staying power, the scant attention paid to the country’s ethnic, religious and sectarian realities, and overt and covert support for al-Qaeda-affiliated groups along Turkey’s border with Syria are coming home to roost for the Erdogan government.

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