Doom for Friends of the Revolution: Turkey’s South Fast Becoming Permanent Warzone

Posted: September 4, 2012 in Middle East, Politics, World News
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One of the most violent clashes with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) took place in Turkey, near the south-eastern border with Syria and Iraq. Despite the deteriorating border situation and protests of Turkey’s civilian population, Prime Minister Erdogan continues to support the Syrian opposition and predicts that Assad will be shortly toppled.

Today nine Turkish soldiers and policemen were killed in clashes with PKK rebels in the province of Sirnak. Kurds attacked from four directions, using heavy machine guns. The battle lasted several hours, and a total of 20 attackers were killed.

In another Turkish province the Kurds have kidnapped a regional leader of the ruling Justice and Development Party. His location is currently unknown. This is not the first time a prominent Turkish politician is kidnapped by the  Kurdish separatists.

Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan is on the air of one private TV channel, predicting Assad’s imminent resignation:

“In my opinion, Bashar al-Assad ended his political life. At the moment, Assad does not work as a politician in Syria. He’s just an actor or a buffoon in the Syrian civil war. Turkey is close to the Syrian people, but does not support Assad’s ruthless regime. The Syrian people are our brother nation. And it is with this feeling that we have established ties with the Syrian people, when Turkey’s ties with Assad were severed.”

The Telegraph informs that Turkey houses centers for training of the Syrian opposition for non-lethal struggle. Activists are trained to build information networks to spread provocative news and propaganda. In one such example they have printed self-adhesive leaflets depicting a caricature of Assad. According to the organizers, distribution of such leaflets in Syria will allow supporters of the acting president to side more quickly with the revolution.

However, not all Turkish citizens support Erdogan’s position. The other day thousands of protesting supporters of President Assad took to the streets in the city of Antakya (southern Turkey). Demonstrators called for the government to stop supporting the Syrian opposition, which creates tension in the region.

Obviously, the longer the conflict in Syria, the worse the domestic situation in Turkey will become. But the bigger problem is that, in the event Assad is overthrown and Islamists come to power, Turkey will become the next target. Israeli intelligence has repeatedly noted this in the past. In other words, whatever scenario is finally played out in Syria, it does not bode well for Turkey as it gets further entangled in this Middle Eastern mess.

 

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