Turkish parliamentary election to shape Ankara’s Syria policy

Turkish parliamentary election to shape Ankara’s Syria policy

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 9

By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

Russia's open military intervention in the Syrian crisis has led to strained relations between Ankara and Moscow.

Some political circles in Turkey are already saying that Russia's continued shelling of moderate Syrian opposition positions, which isn't in Ankara's interests, could seriously damage relations between the two countries.

This may also affect primarily Russian investments, particularly the ones put into the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, which is being built as part of agreements between Russia and Turkey.

However today, Turkey's former Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Taner Yildiz, noting the importance of the Akkuyu Nuclear Power Plant, said the project is not exposed to any risks.

Of course, so far there are no major problems between Turkey and Russia, since the parties understand the consequences of a breakdown in relations.

In view of this, it can also be argued that the developments will not end in a military conflict between Russia and Turkey.

In this regard, one of Turkey's problems is that the Patriot air defense system no longer protects the country's airspace.

Earlier, the US and Germany announced that they would remove the Patriot air defense system deployed on Turkey's border with Syria. The two countries explained their decision by stating that Turkey allegedly uses Patriot for combating the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The US didn't extend the term of presence of Patriot air defense system on Turkey's territory.

This air defense system was deployed in Turkey at its request back in 2012 to protect the country from the possible missile attack on it from Syria. Taking the Patriot air defense system out of Turkey means that the country is left to the mercy of fate.

And, against the backdrop of the military operations carried out by Russian air forces in Syria, Turkey's positions are even more weakened in the political arena.

Ankara has repeatedly urged Russia to stop bombing the positions of the moderate opposition in Syria, but Moscow has not reacted to this demand yet. Apparently, there is no difference for Russia between Islamic State (IS) terrorists and the moderate Syrian opposition.

Meanwhile, as opposed to Russia, the moderate Syrian opposition in Turkey is of particular importance. The moderate Syrian opposition for Turkey is a result of Ankara's policy in Syria. Thus, the destruction of the moderate Syrian opposition is a big blow to Turkey's foreign policy.

Taking into account that almost three weeks remain before the early parliamentary election in Turkey, one can say that a blow to Ankara's interests in Syria can greatly affect the outcome of this election.

All other political forces in the country have criticized the Syrian policy of the ruling Justice and Development Party of Turkey.

Elimination of the moderate opposition in Syria and inaction of the interim government of Turkey, the majority of which are members of the AKP, can lead to a loss of votes of the ruling party at the parliamentary election to be held November 1.

It's hard to talk about the results of early parliamentary election in Turkey for now. It is possible that this election, like the previous one, can bring the AKP a lot of surprises.

There is no doubt that if the Justice and Development Party loses the parliamentary election, or if it has to form a coalition government, Ankara will be simply be obliged to change its policy towards Syria.

Edited by CN


Rufiz Hafizoglu is the head of Trend Agency's Arabic news service, follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu

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