Turkey and Syria

In the U.S. msm events in Syria appear to be focused on the siege of Syrian cities by the Syrian army. Accurate enough. But much else is going on, especially in Turkey. The shooting into the Turkish camps housing Syrian refugees that occurred in the last few days has raised an international shrug of the shoulders. The Turkish government is far more concerned and engaged: "All in all, the urgency to act against the Assad regime's aggression on its own citizens, in order to stabilize the country as soon as possible, is a sensitive issue for the national security of Turkey. For that Ankara is willing, even determined, according to some officials, to invoke unilateral or multilateral legal remedies at its disposal. It clearly prefers the multilateral approach for the time being. But when push comes to shove, Turkey will not hesitate to act alone, as it did in 1998 in Syria or in 1975 in Cyprus. Watch out for the signal that will indicate that Turkey is ready to act: When the government decides to seek a mandate from the Turkish Parliament for troop deployment in a foreign country, as it must according to the Constitution, it will mean the real warning shot for military incursion into Syria has already been fired." From an English language Turkish paper.HT: Pat Lang; a fascinating discussion on this post, "What Next in Syria," about the ins and outs of sectarian relations in the Turkey, Syria, "Kurdistan" region as well as assessments of Turkey's reactions to all of this.

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.

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