Turkey made its choice, now for its allies - MERVE ŞEBNEM ORUÇ

Turkey made its choice, now for its allies

The Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) 49.5 percent victory in the Nov. 1 general elections, is, without a doubt, going to be as determining in Turkey's foreign policies as in its internal affairs. One of the main topics discussed in the four elections we experienced – including the local elections – in the last two years was Turkey's foreign policy. Since every election is treated by Western and pro-West circles as a referendum of the AK Party's policies, it will not be hard to infer that Turkey gave the green light to Ankara's foreign policies, too, at the ballot box.

Those, who for months, sought justification by criticizing Ankara's foreign policy, claiming how lonely Turkey has become in the region and world and came to the point of even whitewashing the crimes Bashar Assad's regime committed against humanity, while calling President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan a dictator, are now trying to squirm out of their sins by saying, they “will not pay attention to minor internal plans and continue to progress within the great and expansive world.” Self-criticism aside, Turkey standing behind its humane and conscientious approach regarding crisis and war zones despite all pressures and as a result of the AK Party's receiving the approval of the people on Nov. 1 regardless of what was hoped, the changes we are starting to observe in the West's approach toward issues in the region on Turkey and Syria in particular, is leading these figures to direct their criticisms resulting from their disappointment to Western countries like the U.S. What they feel must be the unbearable weight of being left alone as a result of their failure to fulfill their duty. Whatever...

As you know, it has been long postponing the solution of problems experienced in the region, particularly in western Syria. The main purpose of this postponement was to wait for the ruling government in Turkey, which chose to act in accord with the interests of its own country over the interests of the West, to shake.

In addition to and beyond waiting, the emergence and strengthening of organizations like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the balances that changed with the agreement between P5+1 and Iran, which has a critical role in this crisis, factors turning the crisis into a greater chaos and leading it to a stalemate, were also targeting Ankara.

There is no use beating around the bush. For instance, nobody any longer has any doubt that the plan of the West, which has been saying at every opportunity that Assad must eventually go, is for Erdoğan to go first. They showed great effort to weaken and oust the AK Party and Erdoğan and bring to power a government they can use like their own satellite,

first through the street movements in Turkey, then through Gülenists followed by the PKK. As of Nov. 1, 2015, they failed at this plan.

Yet on the other hand, the threat they hold in their hands against Turkey, has, as the time extended, been starting spread to them, too. For instance, the refugee crisis outdid even Greece's economic state and became Europe's most important matter. Some, because of concern and panic, are even debating the existence of the European Union. Anyone who expresses their opinion states that Turkey and Turkey's cooperation is necessary to solve the problem. Europe has tested how much harm they would see from the corruption and risks caused by the attacks on stability and order to change the government in Turkey, which is in a powerful and successful buffer position between the Middle East and its own borders. This is why German Chancellor Angela Merkel rushed to Turkey regardless of the upcoming elections.

On the other side, the U.S., Turkey's most important ally, needs Turkey's cooperation in its fight against ISIL. The Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG), which it chose as a partner in Syria, but is nothing other than a puppet against Turkey, is changing the demography in Syria, committing a war crime and acting in support of the Assad regime while flirting with Russia, rather than fighting ISIL.

The U.S.'s distancing itself step by step from supporting the YPG was noticed for some time. The statement from Pentagon this week saying, “We are no longer sending arms to the YPG. Any weapon and ammunition delivery from now on will go to the opposition led by the Arabs,” may be perceived as an indication that the U.S. has started to change its policies in Turkey, with the awareness that it needs to cooperate with the government that it failed to oust, whether it likes it or not. Similar to news in Western media that Ankara is backing ISIL running dry after the agreement reached in the fight against ISIL in July, the pressure on Ankara through Western media in this regard may also gradually reach an end. Yet, for this, the U.S. needs to occupy itself a little with organizations such as the Syrian Democratic Forces, whose structure and scope are unknown, and change its policy with a flexible move and take its time so as not to seem like it came to Turkey's word.

It appears the place to lay on the table the Assad issue, which was frequently reflected in the media during the Syria talks in Vienna but no concrete conclusion could be reached once again, and the transition period in Syria, is the G20 summit to take place in Antalya next week.

The summit, which will be attended by world leaders such as Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Vladimir Putin, François Hollande, King Salman, David Cameron, Tony Abbott, Xi Jinping, is of symbolic significance in terms of the two-year discussions on how Turkey is alone. Hence, President Erdoğan, who was alienated and vilified, yet was chosen by the people despite all efforts, will be hosting the summit strong and powerful and determining the agenda. The message that will be given here particularly by leaders of Western countries, will bear clues about what those who have been postponing the matter of Assad's future to after ousting Erdoğan will do now.

Let us see what kind of approach the Western alliance, which has failed to change the government in Turkey despite being so keen, will display before the upcoming period.


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