The divide between Turkey and Syria’s Assad government continues to widen. Turkey is supporting the rebels in Syria and the longer this drags on, the more likely it will be for this Turkey / Syria divide to continue.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan accused the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday of indirectly supporting the “oppression” of the Syrian people by failing to adopt a united stance on Syria.
Once a friend of Damascus, Turkey has become a fierce critic of President Bashar al-Assad over his year-long crackdown on his opponents and has called for the Syrian leader to step down.
“In not taking a decision, the U.N. Security Council has indirectly supported the oppression. To stand by with your hands and arms tied while the Syrian people are dying every day is to support the oppression,” Erdogan said.
In February, the Turkish prime minister described a veto by permanent Security Council members China and Russia of a U.N. resolution on Syria as a “fiasco for the civilized world”.
Russia and China have vetoed two council resolutions condemning Assad for turning his army on civilians.
It is beyond foolhardy to believe that Erdogan and Turkey care about the fate of the Syrian rebels for humanitarian reasons. There is one reason they do; it’s called power. With Assad gone, the Muslim Brotherhood gains its most significant foothold in the Middle East since the ‘Arab Spring’ began. Turkey’s desire for that reality is very, very strong.
Turkey’s AK Party is imagining a future Syria without Assad and it is quite appealing to them. The longer Assad holds power, the more bitter Turkey’s Islamists – to include Erdogan – will be toward Assad for preventing an imagination from becoming a reality.
Look for increased friction between Turkey and Iran over the situation in Syria as well.
h/t Free Republic