Will Turkey strike a deal with the US or will it launch a military op in Syria? - MEHMET ACET

Will Turkey strike a deal with the US or will it launch a military op in Syria?

Thomas Hobbes, a well-known 17th century British philosopher, said that all agreements not signed with the sword are nothing but words.

The question of whether world history is written with the power of words or with the words of power continues to be an open-ended question.

Now that we have made such an intimate introduction, let's remember Henry Kissinger's famous saying:

“Unless the shadow of your power falls on the table of diplomacy, what you say at that table will not go beyond verbiage.”

Turkey’s hand when it comes to the Syrian dossier is stronger than it was a few years ago.

Why is that?

Because it sits at the table, confident of its gains on the field.

President Tayyip Erdoğan hinted again at the ambassadors’ conference yesterday at a possible operation east of the Euphrates River in Syria.

He said:

“Turkey will never feel secure unless the growing structure south of our borders supplied with heavy weapons by our allies is purged. I hope that the process that we have started with the Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations will soon move to a different stage. ”

Similar to what they did back in December, Americans rushed to stop Ankara upon the military buildup on the southern borders, after it was determined by their own intelligence units.

During the visit of the U.S.’s Special Representative for Syria James Jeffrey, the Turkish National Defense Ministry demanded a response from the U.S., which was followed by a military delegation being speedily sent to Ankara on behalf of Pentagon.

Everyone is aware of the differences of opinion by now.

A Washington Post article claimed Turkey rejected a proposal by the U.S. made by Jeffery regarding a safe zone that is 15 kilometers deep and 140 kilometers long.

The issue is not limited to the length and depth of the safe zone.

The U.S. wants to continue being the PKK/YPG’s guardian and simultaneously strike a deal with Turkey.

On the other hand, there is an important consensus that the two sides can keep the hope of a deal alive.

The American side also seems to have accepted the removal of the YPG terror group from the safe zone to be announced.

At least we know that James Jeffrey has made statements to this effect in the past.

So what happens next?

If we try to carry out a risk analysis for the two parties, we can more or less surmise the following:

The biggest risk for the U.S. is that President Erdoğan has a firm attitude on these issues and he is blackmail-proof.

He even responds to such language in kind.

Due to this being a well-established fact, the Americans knocked on Ankara’s door uninvited following the amassing of troops on the border.

A second compelling factor for the U.S. is Ankara's response to its classic distraction tactics with the answer, “This time our patience is running out.”

So it would seem that they have exhausted all their distraction ploys.

We can add a third assessment as follows:

The U.S. is not giving up the goal of protecting the YPG, but it also didn’t signal that a Turkish military intervention would count as a declaration of war.

The statement said they oppose a unilateral act, that such a situation would have a negative impact on ties, but what it doesn’t say is that they’d fight for the YPG if push comes to shove.

In total, such a stance raises the question whether the U.S. has any option other than stalling, and this situation provides an advantage for Ankara.

The outlook for Turkey comprises of a number of risks regarding the economy.

By refusing to impose sanctions on Turkey under the pretext of the S-400 issue, Trump signaled a shift in policy following July 12, but it remains unclear how he will react to a possible Turkish operation.

Trump had tweeted before that he “will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds."

I wonder if he sticks to his words.

Or was he not serious about that?

Even if it is serious, as we just said, Erdoğan reveals that he will not acquiesce to the use of security issues as a means of blackmail.

The questions just keep coming.

But first we need to see what the result will be of Turkey- U.S. talks.


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