Middle EastSyriaTurkey

Erdogan seeks war on Syria: Turkish journalist

The Turkish government under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan seeks a military conflict with Syria, opposing the views of the Turkish people, a journalist tells Press TV.

This comes as Turkish media stated on Saturday that the military has fired 87 times on Syria, killing 12 Syrian soldiers amid soaring tensions with the Arab neighbor.

Moreover, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said that Ankara has banned all Syrian aircraft from entering its airspace as the row between the two neighboring countries escalates.

Relations between Ankara and Damascus have soured since a mortar shell fired from the Syrian territory on October 3 landed in Turkey and killed five civilians.

Tensions have been running high between Syria and Turkey, with Damascus accusing Turkey – along with Saudi Arabia and Qatar – of backing a deadly insurgency that has claimed the lives of many Syrians, including large numbers of security and army personnel.

Press TV has conducted an interview with Ragheb Toran, a Turkish journalist from Istanbul, to further discuss the issue. The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: What do you think of Turkey’s involvement in the Syrian crisis? Some analysts believe that it has gone too far and become part of the war itself since it is a focus that allows its border to be a route for insurgents, for arms. So, what does Turkey have to benefit from all this?

Toran: Yes, indeed. Now, since more than three months, the tension between two countries, let’s say between two capitals Ankara and Damascus, is worse and worse after all this very active support of the Turkish authorities to the Syrian opposition.

The case of the plane coming from Moscow was another problem between two countries. As you know, the Russians were already publicly and officially explaining that these were some technical pieces, electronic pieces… Now, the Turkish prime minister is insisting that this is a war material.

This is another problem between these two countries which is not important because now in the Turkish public opinion, so many people, many people who are with the AKP, I mean the governmental party, are speaking about war against Syria.

The tension is higher and higher mainly in the area of common frontier between Turkey and Syria, more or less between Hatay and Mardin. So, nobody is really happy about that in Turkey, apart from Prime Minister Erdogan.

Press TV: NATO has said that it will not support any kind of war, military attack in Syria. Do you think that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan wants to drag NATO and perhaps even the United States into some kind of military war against Syria?

Toran: Indeed. Everybody knows that Turkey will not be able, alone, to make any kind of military operation because, let’s say during the TV debate, during the night, even very clever military people are saying that it is indeed easy to go inside but it will be very difficult to leave this country. This is very probably true for any kind of operation outside their own country.

For the moment, from Washington or Brussels, there are indeed kind of, let’s say, how to support the Turkish authorities. But these supports should not be understood as a support for any kind of an aggressive operation of Turkey against Syria. It’s mainly the problem of immigrants. It’s mainly about the problem of defending the borders.

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