Erdoğan threatens Syrian operation to regain regional relevance - Syrian journalist

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is threatening a new military operation in Syria in a bid to restore his regional relevance, Syrian journalist Fuad Hamira wrote on Saturday for Northern Press Agency (NPA)

In his article, Humira argues that Erdoğan is motivated to act loudly after a year of stagnancy in his foreign policy. The cold shoulder of President Joe Biden in the United States, continued trouble with the European Union (EU) and failures to extract more concession from Vladimir Putin’s Russia in Syria have left the Turkish leader empty handed. 

Humira suggests that Erdoğan is motivated by a desire to claw back the attention showered on him in the last two years of aggressive assertions of Turkish power abroad. 

“Erdogan’s relation with lights and fame is just like the relation of fish with water. If he is no longer in the circle of attention, he feels dead," wrote Humira. "Therefore, his recent escalation and threats to invade northern Syria come in this framework to refocus the media on him and his behavior."

However, the journalist does not see it as likely that Erdoğan will follow through on threats to resume military operations in Syria absent approval from the US or Russia. This impotence, he says, can be seen in other as indicative of wider setbacks Turkey faces regionally and at home. 

For the last year, Turkey has attempted with mixed success to seek some form of detente with its rivals. While it has seen some signs of progress with countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, Erdoğan’s Turkey continues to trade barbs with others like Israel and Greece.

Relations with the US are also similarly poor, as attested to by Erdoğan himself last month. Speaking from New York where he was attending the United Nations General Assembly’s opening session, Erdoğan called relations with Biden the worst he has had with the US in his nearly two decades in power. 

 

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