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13 July 2016


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The reporting today on Yildirim's words is only half the beef.

He first took that line up some two days ago. Hurriyet reported:

The normalization of Syria is possible but everybody should make sacrifices for this. Our strategic partners and coalition partners should heal the bleeding wound in Syria and take more responsibility. As Turkey, we are exerting necessary efforts to open the doors of peace and security,” Yıldırım said.

But Yıldırım said there would be no meeting with the country in the short term. “The oppression should first end. The dictatorial regime should end. What will you agree on with a regime that has killed more than a half million of its people without blinking an eye? Everybody already agrees on this,” he said.

Sounds like "better relation with Syria after regime change is done" to me.

As for giving Syrians Turkish passports - these would be only given to the "elite" - established businessmen, doctors etc. The rabble would be send home or to Germany.


Col. Lang -

Any idea if this is a result of the recent NATO summit?



I doubt it . I am more inclined to think that the damage done to the Russian embargoes was effective. the NATO thing seems to me to run contrary to acceptance of Russian demands. pl


Hasn't someone written that the actual reference is to the Turkomen who are long-time residents of Syria and that most of them are Shia (which might go down well in public opinion)?



Public opinion where, in Turkey? I doubt that making a lot of them Turkish citizens would gain much favor for Erdogan. I guess they are what is called "Alevi" in Turkey as opposed to "Alawi," something quite different. pl


Turkey may be trying to return to its pre-Syria "zero problems with our neighbors" policy. They may not completely abandon the rebels but try to pursue a diplomatic solution.



IMO they would have a hard time straddling that divide. the Russians would be watching them. pl



"Hasn't someone written that the actual reference is to the Turkomen "

Which "Turkoman"?

Erdogan's spy chief imported Uyigur Jihadists as "Turkman" via travel from China to Bangkok where they were handed real fake Turkish passports to proceed to Istanbul. There they had to give up the passports and travel to Syira where they settled in Alawite villages the Jihadists had conquered. These "Turkmen" currently fight in Latakia. The Russians and the Chinese are eager to bury them. Erdogan may no longer oppose that.

Here is that story. No major outlet wrote about it:


Boris Johnson (their Trump) just appointed UK FM and has been supportive of working with Russia on Syria.


Col: Erdogan lacked the patience for allowing Turkey's slow rise in their neighborhood. He never gave his neighbors time to adjust to increased Turkish influence. His pro-Jihadi policy also has shredded any illusions that Turkey is ready for regional leadership.

Ishmael Zechariah

There are/were genuine Turkmen, who speak Turkish and are of non-Semitic origin, in both Iraq and Syria. Their populations, as minorities, were non-negligible in both countries before the current Borgian mess. The non-Sunni among them received no aid from tayip and his coreligionists when they came under attack. A simple web-search will yield enough real references. The selective coverage of "minorities" in the ME reported by SJW of all leanings is quite amusing.
Ishmael Zechariah


Yes it is an appointment that has surprised us all, what the result will be we will have to wait and see, but Boris is far too smart and independent minded, which has been reflected in his comments every now and then. I am no particular fan of the new Prime Minister but I am hopeful she will be an improvement on the dire Cameron.

Of course Boris' great-grandfather was Ali Kemal, briefly Minister of the Interior in the Ottoman Empire.

I suspect Erdogan can see which way the Syrian conflict is going. Apparently he was ignored and looked angered at the NATO gathering, economic and strategic realities means Turkey needs good relations with Syria, Iran and Russia.

Ishmael Zechariah

Most folks here would not know about Ali Kemal, the British answer to Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. One should choose one's collaborators wisely.


Ishmael Zechariah

Lord Curzon

I nearly fell out of my chair when I heard, however, I believe May is about to reveal who she really is now that she's in the top job - a closer cleaving to Disraeli domestically, but the full Palmerston when dealing with other countries.


>"If all this happens the Syrian government will eventually emerge as one of the strongest military powers in the Levant. The Israelis and the Gulfies would then have reaped the whirlwind."

I have been thinking about this for months. Every cent not spent on rebuilding Syria is going to be spent on building up the military. Same in Iraq eventually. The whole block from Lebanon to Iran is eventually going to be stronger, more united and less willing to take sh_t from any one.

Turkey was the ultimate case of "people in glass houses", not only will it be easier for any of the above to stir the pot in Turkey but the Turks have truly shot themselves in the foot. All these islamists aren't going to be welcome in Lebanon, Syria ... even the Saudis aren't going to want them back. Turkey is going to be left holding the bag of Jidists when it is all over.

As for the Saudis they've know all along what is coming ...




Sure, there were real Turkman in Sy/Iq. I believe thought that there were far less than the millions Turkey claims.

But what Erdogan and his propaganda folks now call "Turkman" in Syria are mostly foreign Jihadists imported throughout the last years. Chechen, Uyigurs, Uzbeks, Tatars etc. There was a serious campaign to attract them. They came with families.

Erdogan now uses these fake "Turkman" to internally justify transferring weapons etc to them. They run as "Turkistan Islamist party" under Nusra command and with other names under the FSA label.




Turkey will never talk to Assad regime: officials
Officials tell Al Jazeera policy towards Syrian regime stays same, after reports suggesting PM intends to mend ties.

Turkish foreign policy remains unchanged towards the Syrian regime and there is no possibility of re-establishing relations as long as President Bashar al-Assad stays in power, two Turkish officials have told Al Jazeera.

That may be hedging towards the Gulf but who knows what Erdogan is really thinking. I always expect the worst with him.


Boris is a big friend of the Kurds. He has visited Erbil along with his bud, Anglo-Kurdish MP Nadhim Zahawi and proposed giving the Pesh heavy weapons. And previously in London he hosted and talked trade with KRG prime minister Nechirvan Barzani.

Boris wants to turn Erbil into the banking center of the middle east. I hope the Kurds are savvy enough to keep Barclays out. He claims it has nothing to do with the fact that Iraqi Kurdistan (if you include all of Kirkuk province) theoretically has the 6th largest oil reserves in the world.

HSBC bank is already there, hopefully no longer doing money laundering.

Lemur (prev EA)

all the assurances of Turkey's good intentions toward Russia and Syria could simply be a tactical recalibration of Erdogan's neo-Ottoman ambitions.



Hours after saying Turkey needed to return to normal relations with Syria, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said that for anything to change on the Turkish side regarding Syria, first Syrian President Bashar al-Assad needed to go.

“It is for sure that something needs to change in Syria but above all al-Assad must go first,” Yıldırım told BBC’s HARDtalk program.

“Without al-Assad changing, nothing will change in Turkey. The main reason things have come to this point is because of al-Assad,” he added.


This piece is, in my view, correct:

Why recent steps with Israel, Russia won't really change Turkish foreign policy


In sum, Erdogan is not changing his foreign policy — he is resetting it. Getting the foreign policy ship afloat is nothing but an attempt to reset — or jump-start — his pro-Sunni, Islamist agenda.

What Turkey needs is not a reset but a reformatting of its foreign policy — a reprogramming from A to Z. This means the dismantling of an extremely personalized Islamist and sectarian foreign policy and its replacement with a secular one that relies on the Foreign Ministry’s institutionalism and projects the classic values of modernity to the Middle East, namely human rights and democracy. With Erdogan in office, none of these can ever materialize.


Well here are the thoughts of our new Prime Minister's right hand man on foreign policy. Encouraging.


“So if – in addition to the many individual policy, governmental and operational lessons there are to be learned – there is a single, overriding lesson from Iraq, it is surely that we need to rediscover the principles of a traditional, realist, conservative foreign policy. Value stability. Respect sovereignty. Do not make foreign policy part of an ideological crusade. Do not try to recreate the world in your own image. Do not, however much you might disapprove of a dictator’s abuse of human rights, use that as a pretext for regime change. Always act on the basis of the national interest. Above all, understand the risk involved when things change in complex and volatile states.” -

Lord Curzon



Probably a safe assumption that Russia and Turkey have agreed to share intelligence, probably with regard to Islamic forces out of the Caucasus in light of the composition of the Istanbul airport bombers. Beyond that I can't imagine Russia trusting Erdogan.

Second, Erdogan has to be thinking about his delusional role in the greater Sunni world as the prospect of Mosul and Raqqa's collapse can be seen in the distant horizon a year or so out. One can only speculate that there is some 'day after' plan but given US' incredible and persistent blindness to what that might mean, I'm sure Erdogan has given it more thought; no doubt believing he is the man of the hour.

Babak Makkinejad

A selection of quotes. An interesting description of Hillary Clinton.

As for Papua New Guinea, it is not PC to say it, but he's of course right: that's what a traditional diet is about, really -- natural proteins sourced locally and free-range animal breeding.


In a Telegraph column headlined I Want Hillary Clinton to be President, Johnson describes the Democrat: “She’s got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital”.


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