Oct 4 2012
By Fatih Abdulsalam
Azzaman, October 4, 2012
Turkey is in a position that no one can envy. Everything turns upside down in front of its eyes but still it can do nothing apart from raising slogans or expressing wishes.
All the files, which Turkey has wanted to use for its own benefits, have turned against it.
Under its auspices, both Syria and Israel were talking to each other for so many years. But suddenly Ankara found itself embroiled in a big dispute with Tel Aviv over the killing by Israeli troops of its own citizens in an aid ship heading for Gaza.
Its relations with President Bashar al-Assad of Syria worsened following a rosy period in which the Syria leader was so dear to the heart of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoghan.
Turkey worked hard to ease tensions between the west and Iran regarding the latter’s nuclear program. It carried messages from Tehran to the United States and Europe, and it hosted talks on the program.
But again and suddenly Turkey finds itself in a sort of dual with Iran over a variety of issues and files whether in Iraq or Syria.
Only three months into the Syrian crisis, Turkey found itself alone in the field.
The cards it could play were exclusively related to Syrian refugees and the defecting Syrian military personnel. It has failed, despite its strategic influence and weight as well as historical background, to persuade on single superpower to approve its option of a non-fly zone inside Syria to stem the flow of Syrian refugees.
Many years ago, the same Turkey forced Syria to oust the leader of Turkish Kurdish rebels, Abdulla Ocallan, from its territory, only to find itself today facing a Syria that is fueling the Kurdish insurgency inside Turkey by the same rebels.
It is even facing a big challenge from the Iraqi Prime Minister Noori al-Maliki who has threatened to annul a former agreement that allows Ankara to pursue Turkish Kurdish rebels in Iraqi territory.
Syrian troops downed a Turkish fighter and only yesterday they shelled Turkey, killing five people but still Ankara seems almost powerless to work out a plan that will eventually serve its own strategic interests.
On the western front, Turkey has yet to achieve the cherished dream of joining the European Union.
It has not been granted a preferential treatment among NATO despite its big services to the military alliance.
It has even failed to persuade its allies to exert pressure on Israel to apologize over the killing of nine of its citizens and above all it has now lost friends in Baghdad, Damascus and maybe Tehran.
Turkey is in a crisis as it does not know whether it has the right to respond or not to all the external problems it has been facing or probably creating.
Turkey is strong but it has not succeeded in using its regional superpower status to make the world’s big powers listen to its demands.
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