Mobile Version
Free Internet Press
  Uncensored News For Real People


FIP Year In Review

FIP Month in Review

FIP Archive Search




2014-07-09
R.I.P. William 'Bill' Herbert Kelder - Intellpuke

2013-11-28
Gamers Donate 37,500 Pounds Of Food To Needy

2013-09-30
Statement From The Whitehouse Regarding The Government Shutdown

2013-09-29
An Open Response To 'Organizing for Action'

2013-08-26
Bayou Corne: The Biggest Ongoing Disaster In The U.S. You Have Not Heard Of

2013-04-21
Boston Mayor Hopes Feds 'Throw the Book' at Marathon Bombing Suspect

2013-04-19
Boston Police Closing In On Suspects

2013-04-15
2 Explosions At Boston Marathon. 2 Dead, Many Injured.

2013-01-03
The Press vs Citizens Rights and Privacy - Act 3

2012-12-30
CBS News - Year In Review 2012

Nature.com - 366 Days: 2012 In Review

The Guardian - 2012 In Review: An Interactive Guide To The Year That Was

TruTV - The Biggest Conspiracy Theories of 2012

Colbert Nation: 2012: A Look Back

FIP Year In Review(s?)

2012-12-25
Happy Holidays

2012-12-21
Welcome To A New Era!

2012-12-16
An Open Letter To United Health Care, Medcom, And The Medical Insurance Industry In General

2012-11-17
Whitehouse Petition To Remove "Under God" and "In God" From Currency And The Pledge.

2012-11-15
December 21, 2012

2012-11-11
If Hillary Clinton Ran For President, She Would Probably Be The Best-prepared Candidate In American History

2012-11-10
CIA Director David Petraeus Resigns After FBI Investigation Uncovers Affair With High-Profile Journalist

FIP Format Update

2012-11-07
Thank you for voting.

2012-11-06
Live Election Results

2012-09-30
FIP In Hiatus

2012-09-18
U.S.-Afghan Military Operations Suspended After Attacks

Iran Nuclear Chief Says IAEA Might Be Infiltrated By 'Terrorists And Saboteurs'

Romney Stands By Gaffe

2012-09-17
President Obama Says China Trade Practices Harm American Auto Parts Workers


The New Power In The Middle East - Syria's Fate Will Be Determined By Turkey
2012-04-16 17:56:47 (137 weeks ago)
Posted By: Intellpuke

Europe and the United States are delaying action in the Syria conflict -- yielding the field to Turkey. Prime Minister Erdogan is presenting himself as a crisis manager, organizing aid for refugees and threatening to invoke NATO's mutual defense clause. By doing so, Ankara is cementing its status as a major regional power in the Middle East.

The images emanating from the Syrian-Turkish border in recent months have been horrendous. They show thousands of Syrians fleeing dictator Bashar Assad's henchmen. Many are wounded and they speak of torture, rape and executions.

But there have also been images of humanity. Turkey has erected tent camps for Syrians seeking safety. The country has also set up emergency medical facilities to treat the wounded. And neighboring countries have provided food supplies.

"Can you still remember how the African refugees from Tunisia and Libya were treated in Italy during the Arab Spring?" asks Ertugrul Ozkok, the former editor in chief of the Turkish national daily Hurriyet. Back then, human rights groups criticized the thoughtless European Union policy of sealing off the Italian island of Lampedusa like a fortress to keep the refugees from entering Europe. Now Ozkok is pointing out how ironic it is that much-maligned Turkey, of all countries, is defending European values in the current crisis.

(story continues below)




The government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is also pursuing its own interests in the conflict:

-- Syria is an important trading partner.

-- Kurds live in both Turkey and Syria. The unrest poses a threat to stability in a region in which a latent danger already persists through the confrontations between the Turkish military and the Kurdistan Workers Movement (PKK) terrorist organization.

-- Finally, the Syrian refugees create a humanitarian challenge for Turkey that the country is no longer truly capable of shouldering on its own.

Indeed, it isn't altruism alone driving Erdogan to push for Syrian dictator Assad's fall. Nor is it a result of the "solidarity with our Muslim brothers in Syria," as media aligned with the government in Ankara are fond of reporting. Still, even Erdogan's detractors have acknowledged his efforts to tackle the chaos.

More importantly, because Europe and the United States are ducking away from the issue, the fate of the Syrian people is currently being decided in Ankara.

'Turkey Will Be More Important Than Britain'

In his column in Britain's Guardian newspaper this week, Oxford University historian Timothy Garton Ash wrote that "Europe has left Syria to a distinctly Ottoman fate." Ash criticized the West, arguing it should have put a stop to the murder in Syria with military intervention weeks ago. But in contrast to the Libya conflict, the political will is lacking this time. United States President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy are both facing elections; and Germany, for its part, doesn't lead war deployments for a good reason.

Instead, other powers are now taking the lead in the Middle East. "In the near future, Turkey will be more important than Britain," Ash writes. "Iran than Germany, Saudi Arabia than France, Russia than America." In the Syrian conflict, one starts to see the emergence of a new world order described by U.S.-based journalist Fareed Zakaria as the "Rise of the Rest."

It was telling that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan would choose his trip to China this week as the venue for an astounding public statement. "NATO has responsibilities to protect the Turkish border," he told reporters, threatening to invoke Article 5 of the alliance's treaty, which stipulates that an attack against one NATO member shall be considered an attack against all members. The push is an audacious one. It is true that Syria fired on a refugee camp in Turkey, killing two Syrians. But Erdogan knows that would hardly be sufficient grounds for invoking NATO's mutual defense clause, a move last taken following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

Turkey Is Establishing Itself As A Global Power

Nor is that what the Turkish prime minister is seeking. Erdogan is not as naive as some Western reporters like to believe -- even though they should know better by now, following 10 years of rule by his Muslim-conservative AKP party. His threat is well-calculated. He is signalling to those still ruling Syria that they will be held accountable by their opponents -- and he is showing the West that Turkey currently dictates the rules of play in the Middle East.

For some time politicians in Ankara have been discussing the question of how a military strike against Syria could be legitimized under international law. A scenario that would have much better prospects than having German and American NATO troops on Turkish soil appears to be a treaty between Turkey and Syria that was agreed upon at the peak of the Kurdish conflict in 1998. Under the terms of the Adana accord, Syria agreed not to undertake any action that would jeopardize the security and stability of Turkey. Turkish diplomats have repeatedly mentioned this treaty during recent days amid talk of a military deployment in Syria or a military buffer zone along the border.

Turkey, disparaged only a few years ago as the "sick man on the Bosporus," has since established itself as a global power. Erdorgan is pursuing a strategy that observers are describing as "Neo-Ottomanism," making his influence felt far beyond Turkey's own borders.

After his election victory last June, his third in a row, Erdogan announced that it wasn't just a victory for Istanbul and Ankara, but just as much so for Beirut and Damascus. In this crisis-riddled region, Erdogan, like a sultan, is increasingly setting the agenda.

Intellpuke: You can read this article by Spiegel journalist Maximilian Popp in context here: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,827480,00.html


Email To A Friend
Email this story to a friend:
Your Name:
Their Email:
 
Readers Comments
Add your own comment.
(Anonymous commenting now enabled.)

Creative Commons License
Free Internet Press is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License. You may reuse or distribute original works on this site, with attribution per the above license.

Any mirrored or quoted materials may be copyright their respective authors, publications, or outlets, as shown on their publication, indicated by the link in the news story. Such works are used under the fair use doctrine of United States copyright law. Should any materials be found overused or objectionable to the copyright holder, notification should be sent to editor@freeinternetpress.com, and the work will be removed and replaced with such notification.

Please email editor@freeinternetpress.com with any questions.

Our Privacy Policy can be viewed at https://freeinternetpress.com/privacy_policy.php

XML/RSS/RDF Newsfeed Syndication XML/RSS/RDF Newsfeed Syndication: http://freeinternetpress.com/rss.php

XML/RSS/RDF Newsfeed Syndication XML News Sitemap