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Turkish voices increasingly calling for dialogue with Assad

Developments in Syria could force Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to swallow his antipathy to President Bashar al-Assad and establish some level of contact with him, as a growing number of Turks believe.

Turks remain glued to reports about the progress of the Turkish military campaign in northern Syria against the People's Protection Units (YPG), the Kurdish group Ankara considers to be a terrorist organization that poses an existential threat to Turkey. Operation Olive Branch, launched Jan. 20, has sparked a growing debate on whether Ankara should make peace with Damascus so that it can more effectively attain its military and political objectives in northern Syria.

Opposition parties along with retired generals and analysts argue that cooperating with Damascus is the only way to ensure Turkey’s security interests along its long border with Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan remains adamantly opposed to talking with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, however, even though Ankara established low-level contacts with Damascus prior to launching its onslaught against the YPG in Afrin.

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