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As Erdogan woos Assad, is Turkey-Syria reconciliation rhetoric or actuality?

After a protracted pause, Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has revived efforts to fix fences with the person he lengthy labeled a “assassin,” Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad. His opening pitch got here on June 28 after performing Friday prayers. “There is no such thing as a cause to not reestablish ties with Syria. We now have no intention to intrude in Syria’s inner affairs,” Erdogan instructed reporters, unequivocally asserting that Ankara now not sought Assad’s overthrow.

The Turkish chief upped the ante on July 6 throughout a flight again from Germany, saying he was able to “socialize en famille” with the Assads “as we did previously.”

“The second that Bashar al-Assad takes a step to enhance relations with Turkey, we’ll show the identical strategy,” Erdogan instructed reporters on board the presidential aircraft. Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, and Iraq’s prime minister, Mohammad Shia al-Sudani, have been concerned in serving to to rearrange a possible assembly. “We’re going to prolong our invitation. Inshallah, with this invitation we hope to revive Turkish-Syrian relations to their earlier stage. Our invitation may come at any second,” Erdogan stated.

“These are groundbreaking feedback. That is Erdogan’s most radical overture thus far,” stated Behlul Ozkan, an assistant professor of political science at Istanbul’s Ozyegin College who has printed extensively on Turkey’s Syria coverage. Public resentment towards Syrians briefly turned to mass violence in late June, resulting in unprecedented anti-Turkish protests and attacks on Turkish navy bases in northwestern Syria. The monetary price of occupying round 10% of Syrian territory — an space twice the scale of Lebanon — amid power fiscal woes is changing into unsustainable. In the meantime, Turkey’s unremitting efforts to break down the US-protected and Kurdish-led Autonomous Administration in North and East Syria (AANES), deemed an existential menace due to its ties to Kurdish rebels preventing the Turkish navy, have proved fruitless up to now.

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