This alliance is more of a “terror alliance” sweetened by “kind” and “diplomatic” words by Ankara’s so-called allies. Turkey’s conclusive decisions have led to different perspectives and responses, particularly from western states.
In this context, Turkey’s offensive towards Jarablus, Al-Bab, Idlib and now Afrin, which is also expected to further expand-deepen toward East Euphrates has once again established Turkey’s role as a playmaker in the region. This situation has albeit led to criticism and “discourse uniformity”.
This homogeneity is because the results are likely to be severe for western states, while the risks associated are difficult to assess since Turkey has put a resolute stance in the process. Hence, this method is being favoured at the moment.
Some “cyclical allied states” could also be included in the same list. This is because such allies are willing to continue their relationship until the “ox” is dead and go back to “unfinished business” once the issue is resolved. This also opens the invitation to new oxen.
“Apprehension Sauced” threats to Ankara!
A few concrete examples relating to the situation above would be well enough to clarify the “friend-ally ring” Turkey is exposed to. For this, samples will be listed chronologically from first to last.
The first instance came from Federica Mogherini, EU Foreign and Security Policies High Representative during a joint plenary session on the topic of “Human Rights in Turkey” and “The Situation in Afrin”.
Mogherini stated that the Afrin operation is likely to cause a humanitarian crisis and negatively affect negotiations in Syria. She also said that; “opening new fronts aren’t a solution and will not make Turkey safer. Real security can only be possible via a negotiated political settlement. We believe that military operations should focus only on terror-listed organisations by the United Nations.”
This is not the first instance of assertion by Mogherini! In a press statement on 22th of January, she declared that the EU “was anxious” about Turkey’s Olive Branch Operation. Herein, the words “new fronts” and “Turkey’s security” are new additions.
What is more remarkable is the fact that Mogherini’s accounts were delivered on the same day Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State indicated that the US was “apprehensive” of Turkey’s Afrin operation.
The French President, Emmanuel Macron which is supposed to be “Turkey’s Friend,” has employed a similar show of concern. Macron stated that the operation carried out by Turkey in Afrin should not turn into an occupation. Otherwise, it would be a great concern for France. He stated that; “Turkey should carry out its offensive in coordination with its western allies.”
Herein the vital point of the matter is that a perception operation is being carried against Turkey by the West. Following Turkey’s resolute stance, the West is trying to limit further gains by coercing Ankara into a “new alliance.”
Meanwhile, the UN, whose primary mission is to preserve peace, stability, security and human rights in the world has joined this “campaign”. UN spokesperson Stefan Dujarric made a statement on 19th of January expressing “concern” of Turkey’s operation which had not yet begun. There are very few cases where the UN is so “tender” and “proactive”.
What upsets Turkey, are statements expressed by friendly neighbours and allies which lead to concern and disquiet. As these comments showed a substantial increase in the recent period, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan asserted that “I don’t believe Russia and Iran will adopt such stance”.
Recent accounts by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, indicate that Turkey’s concerns are legit. This declaration was a first by Rouhani about the Olive Branch Operation.
Speaking at a press conference attended by domestic and foreign journalists, Rouhani called the operation “futile” and asserted that; “We have strong relations with Turkey and Russia on regional issues. Our principle attitude is that an army enters the territory of another country upon the request of relevant state and its people. Otherwise, we find this not to be right. We desire that this operation is ended as soon as possible because both our Turkish brothers and Kurds are losing their lives.”
Taking into consideration Iran’s current foreign policy and the warning above no comment can be made due to irrelevancy.
In conclusion, states “quarrelling” with each other see Turkey as the way out of the grave crisis. What is indeed worrying is the possibility of discourse turning into action.
However, whatever is going to happen will happen since the sleeping giant has awakened!