SOHR exclusive | Will Turkish regime really intend to normalise ties with Damascus after falling out for years? • The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

SOHR exclusive | Will Turkish regime really intend to normalise ties with Damascus after falling out for years?

Syrian figures opposing the Syrian regime have described statements by the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, as a “stab in the back of the Syrian opposition,” clarifying that this step was expected from the Turkish government which is ready to abandon any cause in return for reaching its goals.


Yesterday’s statements by the Turkish Foreign Minister, which included a proposal for “reconciliation” between the Syrian regime and opposition with the aim of preventing the division of Syria, have disclosed a sharp alteration of Turkey’s stance, amid reports of an imminent “settlement deal” between the Turkish president Receb Tayyip Erdogan and the Syrian regime’s president Bashar Al-Assad, after Erdogan’s efforts to overthrow Al-Assad’s regime having failed.


Cavusoglu revealed that he briefly met his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mekdad in October on the margins of the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Belgrade. Cavusoglu said he told Mekdad that “we need to somehow come to terms with the opposition and the regime in Syria. Otherwise, there will be no lasting peace.”


“To prevent the division of Syria, there must be a strong administration in Syria. The will that can dominate every corner of its lands can only be achieved through unity and solidarity,” he told journalists in Ankara at the closing of an ambassadors’ conference.


A few days ago, a Turkish press agency close to the Turkish government reported that Erdogan and Al-Assad have become able to hold phone talk, after creating the conditions for that, as an introduction to hold a meeting between the two presidents.


The Turkish agency also reported that important decisions have been made during the latest summits in Tehran and Sochi, which would affect the situation in Syria, as Turkey offered Russia, Iran and Al-Assad’s regime to launch a joint military operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in east Syria to foil its separatist attempts.


In an exclusive SOHR interview with the regime dissident brigadier-general, Ahmed Hamada commented on Cavusoglu’s statement saying, “the Turkish minister has the right to talk in accordance with the interests of the country he represents. If Turkish interests require normalisation of relations with Al-Assad’s regime, then it is their business. But we, the Syrians, have a vision for a solution which is manifested in applying relevant UN resolutions. Through the constitutional committee and the path of Astana, Syrian people have continued negotiations. However, the other side, Syrian regime, is unwilling to reach such solutions. I do not expect that negotiations will succeed as long as Al-Assad’s regime remains the holder of power.”


On the other hand, the head of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), Salih Muslim sees that the Turkish Foreign Minister talked about an old event, and that his proposal in the current stage refers to bankruptcy of the Turkish policy. He thinks that Turkey has got no allies anymore, and the Turkish government is attempting to cover up the orders it has received from the Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Replying SOHR question about the stance of the opposition, Mr. Salih said, “which opposition?! This opposition, whose headquarters are located in Istanbul?!”


Mr. Salih expects that the Syrian regime will receive orders to accept specific proposals, noting that the reconciliation which may be reached will remain symbolic and does not reflect the view of any Syrian party. Reconciliation deals cannot be reached in the present, whatever the proposals which conflicting powers in Syria offer, as Muslim described.


The head of PYD sees that Ankara’s worsening relations with Western powers is the turning point in the current stage, referring that Turkey has kept swinging between the NATO and Russia, until Putin managed to force Erdogan to side with Russia; this, in turn, leads to subsequent results.


Commenting on the Autonomous Administration’s stance, Salih Muslim clarifies that the approach of the Autonomous Administration is unchanged, remarking that “reconciliation” is a very broad term.


It is worth noting that the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) has adopted no stances yet regarding Cavusoglu’s statement.


The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has been all along stressing that reaching a “reconciliation” is based on holding accountable all criminals and violators and assigning full responsibility for all atrocities and violations, which have led to destroying Syria, displacing millions of Syrians and starving them, to all warring parties.