Friday, June 15, 2012

#Syria: #Turkey Propaganda Article Pushing For NATO Strikes On Syria.


The longer Washington delays action against al-Assad, the more nervous Ankara will become about the PKK's growing strength inside Syria. Eventually, Erdogan will ask Obama to help him oust al-Assad and prevent the PKK from becoming a fighting machine next door. This divergence will test the limits of the Obama-Erdogan relationship.

For the time being, Erdogan might accept U.S. inaction, knowing that Obama's re-election chances depend on his ability to keep America out of an overseas conflict. But what happens after the U.S. elections in November?

Regardless of the winner, Erdogan will demand help from Washington to end the Syrian regime's patronage of the PKK. This is because Erdogan, like Obama, has election fever. The Turkish leader wants to become the country's first popularly elected president in polls to be held in 2013 or 2014. (Until a recent constitutional amendment, Turkish presidents were elected by the country's parliament.)

Should al-Assad continue to reign despite Erdogan's outspoken support for regime change, this will tarnish the Turkish leader's image as the tough guy who gets things done, the very image that has earned him respect and helped him win three successive elections since 2002.
He would also be weakened with the PKK thriving in Syria and using its territory as a springboard to launch attacks against Turkey. Then he would most certainly ask Obama to prove whether he is truly the friend that the Turkish leader thinks he is.

Soner Cagaptay is director of the Turkish Research Program at The Washington Institute.