ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey is constructing 1.5-mile twin walls at a border crossing with Syria to increase security at the frontier following three deadly bombings this year.The concrete walls will be built on either side of the road leading from the Turkish side of the crossing at Cilvegozu to the Syrian border gate and will be topped with barbed wire, the Turkish Customs Ministry said in a
Frustrated with the slow progress of its bid to join the EU, the rash of free trade pacts Brussels is negotiating that leave Turkey out in the cold has Ankara threatening to tear up its customs union agreement.
Hanging out in the Turkish parliament yesterday, I had a conversation with an MP from Hatay, the province on the Syrian border that is hosting many refugees in camps and in local communities and where on May 11 a car bomb killed 51 people. The US media tends to paint the Syrian conflict as a sectarian one between Sunnis and Alawites, but the MP insisted that there is no such split. That there are plenty of Sunnis (as well as other groups like Christians) supporting Assad and that the recent large influx of well-armed radical non-Syrian jihadis financed by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf and, he argued, supported by Turkey, has further driven moderate and secular Sunnis into the Assad camp, or simply into a limbo of fear, not necessarily into the non-jihadi opposition. He believes that if Assad had fallen early on, Syria might not have separated into warring sectarian camps, but elections could have been held. The influx of jihadis, like an invasive virus that is taking over the DNA of the country, makes the prospect of elections seem increasingly impossible. Yet the alternative to retaining a post-Assad government is a chaos of competing armed groups.
Anchorage Daily News
ISTANBUL ? Syria’s political opposition met Thursday in Istanbul to elect new leadership, choose a government-in-exile and deliberate on a negotiating stance for peace talks, but it hit a controversy when the immediate past president of the Syrian
Istanbul Syria’s main opposition group opened key talks Thursday in Istanbul to debate whether to negotiate with the regime on ending the bloody two-year civil war, as proposed by the US and Russia. During their three-day meeting, the Syrian National
Turkey?s main opposition has clarified a misunderstanding concerning its Syrian policy..
Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest writers to have their say. Please click here if you are interested in contributing. A new paradigm is in play in Turkey as the “Kurdish peace process” gains traction and Turkey’s willing involvement in the Syrian crisis continues.
In this excerpt from the latest ECFR policy briefing on Syria, the authors argue that a rare moment of opportunity has emerged following the US-Russian agreement to launch peace initiative, Geneva II. Europe and the west should prioritise ratcheting down violence and the threat of regional spill over.