Middle EastTurkey

Turkish foreign policy aligned with west: Analyst

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A Turkish political analyst in Istanbul’s Marmara University has said Turkey has aligned with the west in its foreign policy.
Barış Doster, political analyst gave an interveiw with Mehr News Turkish Service about the Turkish foriegn policy, especially about its supports for terrorist groups such as ISIL. Mr. Doster believes that foriegn policy of Justice and Development Party (Turkish AK Party) had to deal with a great dilemma in Syria.

The indicision, Mr. Doster believes, is now more evident than any other time, since Turkey has shown reluctance in dealing with ISIL and joining the US-led coalition of countries participating in airstrikes agaisnt the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.

“Turkish AK party statesmen has justified their reluctance on international demands to join military campaign agaisnt ISIL,” says Mr. Doster to Mehr News Turkish Service, which he attributes it to contributing factors to this indicision in regional policy of AK Party and Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“I think there has been no fundamental change in Turkish foreign policy with Justice and Development Party politicians incumbent; since the assumption of power in Turkey, they have been merely following EU and US policies and have been aligned with their powerful magnet,” says the analyst, “for example, Turkey on the one hand gives negative vote in the UN against sanctions on Iran; they even once were a friend of Bashar al-Assad; however, Erdoğan’s government sought quite different motives in the region and that was to lure Syria to western camp and create a rift between Iran and its long-time ally; he wanted even Iran to come to negotiation table with the west,” Doster detailed.

About Turkish foreign policy in Iraq, Doster told Mehr News that in Iraq Erdoğan’s government stated its support for Barzani, encouraging him to move toward independence; about Syria, it is also true and AK party would spare no option including Salafist, Takfirist and other insider separatist groups to Assad ouster. “As another example, Turkey cut its energy imports from Iran only in response to a demand by US ambassador in Ankara; about Israel, Erdoğan played bad police, saving a façade of a politician of courage to face Israel, but at the same time he extends Turkish trade balance with Israel,” Dr. Doster says.

“Even Erdoğan’s handling of political Islam is questioned; he has launched an orchestrated attempt to bring himself to the fore as leading voice of the Muslims, but keeps an inimical stance about Shia and Arab Muslims; all of these stuff are in line with US interests in the region,” he maintains.

About Turkish handling with Kurd Question and PKK, Mr. Doster believes that Justice and Development Party uses the group (a listed group as terrorist) as tools to mount pressure on neighbor countries Syria and Iran. “This sort of double-play sooner or later will give itself away and Mr. Erdoğan could not play in a safe ground for long,” he asserts.

“Despite the fact that US announced ISIL a terrorist group since it threatened its key allies in the region including Kurdistan Autonomous Region, Erdoğan’s government has reluctantly responded to prospect of joining campaign against ISIL in Syria, and ignoring international call to do so especially in saving Syrian border city of Kobane,” says Turkish analyst, “since in terms of Sunni Islamic ideology, Turkey sees ISIL a natural friend and ally; at the same time, it would help destabilize Turkey itself, as we saw in recent days in Kurdish regions of eastern Turkey,” Mr. Doster adds, believing that it altogether poses a difficult dilemma for Erdoğan and his party.

End of Part One

Interview by: Omid Shamizi

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