Why Turkey Must Not Succumb to Provocation in Syria

Article Summary
Washington’s Ambassador to Ankara stunned more than a few observers by claiming the Kurdish PKK was assiting the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. His remarks coincided with an attack killing nine Turks, writes Melih Asik, but Turkey would be wise to wait and see who is behind the agression before joining Syria’s chaos.  

Last week, US Ambassador to Ankara Francis J. Ricciardone, without feeling any need to show a document, cite a source or give any evidence, claimed: “Iran is supplying Syria with weapons. Bashar al-Assad sends these weapons to [the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK)].”

Two days later, speaking at Organization of Islamic Cooperation Summit at Mecca, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said: “If Turkey feels a threat from northern Syria, then it will do whatever is needed.”

Turkey, which sat and watched for 30 years not just threats but actual attacks from northern Iraq, suddenly came alive.

Then came the Gaziantep bombing that killed nine of our citizens. Only a few hours after the attack, when nobody had a clue who was behind it, except for some vague speculation, [Justice and Development Party (AKP)] top guns who are loyal adherents of the US’s “Syria approach", also didn’t need any documents or evidence to loudly declare: “Syrian hands may be behind it...The PKK and [Syria’s intelligence services are in] cooperation.”

The next day, some newspaper columnists wrote: “What are [we] waiting for? Let’s march into Syria.”

Putting all these together, it is becoming more than probable that the Gaziantep massacre was carried out by those who want to provoke Turkey [into military action] against Syria. That could be PKK or our allies who want to provoke Turkey against Damascus. Since the beginning of our Syria adventure, we haven’t been able to make out who is a friend and who is an enemy. What will Ankara do now? Will we keep on sending weapons to the Syrian opposition? Will we keep on trying to bite more than we can chew?

Found in: us, turkey’s syria policy, turkey, syria, pkk, oic summit, oic, gaziantep bombing, gaziantep, akp

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