Regarding Turkey’s Foreign Minister’s Statements
Varying reactions continue to the statements by Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Çavuşoğlu, which he made last Thursday, August 11. In his statements, Çavuşoğlu said that he had a short conversation with Syrian Foreign Minister Faisal al-Miqdad on the margins of the Non-Aligned Countries’ meeting that took place last October (about 10 months ago).
“Putin and Russian officials told us a long time ago, let's connect you to the regime. There have been meetings between the intelligence services of the two countries for a while, and now they resumed. Important issues are discussed in these meetings”, Çavuşoğlu added.
He said, “In Syria, there is a regime and there is an opposition, and after 11 years, many people have died, and many have left their country, these must return. No one can help in building without a ceasefire, and we, as Turkey, will do our best. However, the ceasefire is at the heart of all of this, so we will speed up our efforts in this regard”.
The Turkish Foreign Minister added: “We have to reconcile the opposition and the regime in Syria in some way, otherwise there will be no lasting peace. There must be a strong administration to prevent partitioning of Syria, and the will that can control all the country’s territory can only be established through unity”.
Statements by the Turkish president had preceded his foreign minister’s statements by a few days, and they point in the same general direction, albeit less direct.
One should recall in the context of reading these new statements that there is a continuous context for them, and not a sudden overturn or inflection. In addition to the repeated Russian statements about the need to resolve outstanding issues between Turkey and Syria through dialogue, the Iranian Foreign Minister’s statements during his visit to Damascus more than a month ago, specifically on July 2, were also noteworthy, in which he said: “Iran understands Turkish concerns, but it opposes any military action in Syria”. He added, “We are trying to resolve the misunderstanding between Syria and Turkey through diplomatic means and dialogue”. Kassioun’s political editor had published an article on the subject at the time entitled: Regarding The “Misunderstanding” Between Syria and Turkey.
The nature and timing of the Russian, Iranian, and Turkish positions confirm that the general context of Çavuşoğlu’s statements and Turkish statements in general is not a bilateral Syrian-Turkish context, as much as it is a context of joint action by the Astana trio. These statements probably reflect a stage of its stages that were adopted in both the Tehran and Sochi summits held on July 19 and August 5 of this year, respectively.
It is not surprising at all the reactions of the extremists on both Syrian sides, who overlap in the practical position for the thousandth or more time during the years of the crisis. On the side of the opposition extremists (this does not mean the ordinary people who felt treachery or disappointment between reality and what they were promised or expected) tense positions emerged, led mainly by currents close to Britain and the US, especially some sides known to be affiliated with the central Muslim Brotherhood organization, that is, directly affiliated with the Western center. On the side of the extremists within the regime, the situation was not better at all. Those expressed their indignation and rejection of any dialogue or understanding with Turkey, even if it was on the basis of the unity and integrity of Syrian territories, and even if the mediator in this were the Russians and the Iranians.
The meaning of actions
Understanding the deep meaning of these severe reactions is inseparable from understanding the meaning of the statements themselves and their general context that is sponsored by Astana.
If we set aside the final communiques of both the Tehran and Sochi summits, where nothing new was mentioned, what is certain is that Putin’s statements during the Tehran summit and the Kremlin’s official statement the day before, carried something new and important, the meanings of which can now be seen more clearly than when those statements were made. At the time, the Kremlin’s press statement that preceded the summit – which was repeated by Putin in his speech at the summit’s opening – said: “It is planned during the current summit to exchange views on key issues requiring action within this framework and to identify joint steps towards achieving the goals of reaching a final and lasting settlement in Syria”.
Taking all this information into consideration, the apparent results so far – based on our estimation and expectations – from each of the recent Tehran and Sochi summits, can be summarized as follows:
First: Prevent any new Turkish military operation in northern Syria.
Second: Work jointly to permanently remove Americans from Syria, militarily and politically.
Third: Secure the necessary conditions for a final and sustainable consensus among the Syrian sides that defuses current and subsequent bombs, by securing broad approval among Syrians of the forthcoming solution, and through a profound change in which both the regime and the opposition participate.
Fourth: Secure the economic and political exits necessary to sustain the solution, which necessarily requires ending the American extortion using the sanctions tool once and for all, and this will not happen without some form of understanding between Turkey and Syria, so that the economic geography of Syria is connected with the East, and this will happen by laying the foundation to overcome economic calamities at all levels.
These four (hypothetical but at the same time reasonable) items can be understood as a final gripping of the initiative for the full implementation of UNSC Resolution 2254 by the Astana trio, regardless of whether or not the West wants to participate in the implementation.
The meaning of the reactions
Those harmed by the push in this direction at the international level are primarily the Americans, along with the West and the Zionists, and of course their agents. At the local level, those who are mainly harmed are the elites of plundering, corruption, and war lords, for whom prolongation of the crisis has become their only tool in continuing to control the tools and positions through which they profit.
What is really striking is that this storm of reactions by the extremists has exceeded, in its boundaries and severity, any previous reactions to projects of the type of the “Arab” gas pipeline, or projects of the type that were repeatedly put forward by the so-called Western small group, which clearly included calls for partitioning Syria. Again, this is not surprising, as the entire structure of the old political space of the regime and the opposition alike has grown and been nurtured amid the old international balance in which the West prevails, is connected via an umbilical cord to the West and cannot continue without it.
Of course, the reactions will not end at what has been said thus far, and they will continue. The good thing is that the actions, too, will not stop at the point they have reached, but will continue as well.