Turkish PM Deescalates in Syria as Parliament Pushes for Action

Turkish PM Deescalates in Syria as Parliament Pushes for Action | Turkish forces strike Syria for a second day

In a news conference today, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sought to calm a frenzy of speculation about an impending war with Syria, insisting it is a war he doesn’t want. Erdogan’s comments reflect similar comments from NATO, Syria, and nations across the region, all of whom are hoping to see the potential powder-keg of a border war between them calmed down.

The message that this is a war no one wants apparently didn’t reach Turkey’s parliament, however, and it quickly and overwhelmingly approved a resolution today allowing the military to conduct unrestricted military operations inside Syria.

Turkey has been repositioning itself as a regional power for years, and with its overwhelming military edge over the Assad regime some measure of bellicosity isn’t surprising. Still, while Turkey seems comfortable in a role of facilitating the rebels in Syria, involving itself in a full-scale shooting war would turn an already dubious policy into a potential disaster, alienating nationalist factions in the rebellion, riling up Syria’s Kurdish community and ruining their already strained relationships with Iran and Iraq.

Ergodan seems to get this, and while the Turkish military continued to strike targets in Syria today, it seems virtually certain that the situation is calming down. What the parliament’s disconnect means for their relationship with the Turkish leadership, however, remains to be seen.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • Ben_C

    Ditz…no sane person would order an invasion of another nation in an effort to kill people in that Nation without expecting some sort of "consequences"… Your 'analysis' here is beyond the pale absurd and completely out of touch with reality…

    What exactly do you think Mr. Erdogan "gets"??? Oh wait…….. He made a "speech"…. I see… Never mind…

    Well…if you are going by those 'standards' (strait from the "mouthpieces-mouth"…so to speak), Mr. Bibi Netanyahu has made 'speech' after 'speech' insisting that he wants, above all else, a "peaceful resolution" to the Iranian "situation"… This has always been Bibi's "position"…

    Do you think Bibi "gets it"???

    Mr. Erdogan has been advocating and pushing for a NATO lead "military conflict" in Syria for the past year and a half or so… Welcome to 2011…

    So Ditz: what are your additional prognostications here? Is Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogan the new modern day champion of 'peace'???

    Things are just 'getting started' here….

    • James

      Not quite Ben, Turkey has external factors to worry about: Arab League states and NATO allies who do not want Turkey to get involved. it could snowball. if Turkey gets involved why not Iran, or "someone" may arm the Kurds, or Iraq gets involved. Right now it is a civil war with occasional cross-border attacks. The Turks will beat their chest and howl about their sovereignty. but a full-scale invasion isn't likely. No one wants a Turkish army occupying an Arab state, shades of the Ottomans that would make even the Saudis uncomfortable.

      • Truth Allowed

        I hope so but do belive the civilians would be very angry,they say they don't want the Mid East to erupt but they are the main reason it is.

  • mojo

    Although there are many Turkish citizen see the entire Syrian war as a USA and eu hegemony yet the Turkish government needs to blame itself by being part of that idea wanting to implement yet another religious based, a falsified sunny democracy, wanting to divide Middle East nation on the religious line.

    You play the rule of democracy then you should follow its principals by not sending terrorist into Syria, you want peace then you need to follow its privinpals by not wanting to be ordered by nato warmongring system to have a war at your door step. Syrian government or the Syrian people have done nothing to Turkish citizens or its government, in the other hand Turkey is part of this new western mafia helping the neo liberal fascism whom satisfying the feudalism regimes as Saudis and rest of the dictatorial religious system in the region. Stop the muslimization of the world, democracy is not based nor is related to Islamizations nor any other religion.

  • nomange

    Turkey created the provocation, and caused the response that it and NATO wanted it justify an escalation. Erdogan and Parliament are playing a Mutt and Jeff game to give the illusion of legitimacy, since from the beginning, notwithstanding some internal popular opposition, Turkey has been a central player in the destabilization and invasion of Syria. My sense is that Erdogan's own position could weaken, and that Turkey's military could rise again if he is not careful.

    Syria has little or no recourse for justice in the UN to stop the invasion. That is clear, since the US and NATO have made sure Syria is a pariah (and done a parallel hatchet job in the media) and have perverted the institutions and process that would allow a fair hearing of all of the evidence before the UN General Assembly and the Security Council, other than than having to rely on Russia and China and their veto power.

  • nomange

    One additional comment. When Turkey becomes a victimizer, it is difficult to print the truth and the underlying facts, since the Government can, and does prosecute such statements as "insulting the
    dignity of the State", and the penalties can be severe, and has in the past also used paramilitary persons or groups to take out the person speaking truth to power.

  • davidj8800

    Right, NATO an alliance for peace. 😉