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Ankara sidelined on Syria

Ankara has hardly any influence left over events in Syria and its goal of deposing President Bashar al-Assad is no closer now than four years ago, while the persisting conflict poses ever-increasing headaches for Turkey.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu talk to the media before a meeting in Ankara September 12, 2014. Kerry will meet Cavusoglu, as well as Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and President Tayyip Erdogan during his two-day visit to the capital Ankara, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said. REUTERS/Umit Bektas (TURKEY - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR45Z12
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As the Syrian crisis enters its fifth year, an end to one of the bloodiest conflicts the region has seen in modern times appears no nearer, leaving Turkey bearing a large share of the burden while facing serious quandaries it has found no answers to yet.

Having marginalized itself regionally in a series of miscalculations since the end of 2011, Ankara has hardly any influence left over events in neighboring Syria, let alone in the rest of the Middle East. Meanwhile, events continue to move in a direction that is anathema to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who still insist on the total defeat of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and his regime and its replacement by an elected government.

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