CHP says Turkmens paid heaviest price for gov’t Syria policy

“Turkey’s Syria policy has totally collapsed. Syria is on its way toward a federal structure,” Kemal Kılıcdaroglu, leader of the Republican People’s Party (CHP) said on Wednesday.

The CHP leader’s remarks, which were broadcast live, came a day after Turkey shot down a Russian Su-24 aircraft near the Syrian border, a development that has led to a sharp deterioration in bilateral relations between Turkey and Russia.

Although the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has said since the beginning of the civil war in its southern neighbor that Syria in 2011 that the country should remain united, it is now de facto divided into several parts.

The Turkish government has been offering support to rebel groups, including Turkmens, to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Russia is a staunch supporter of the Syrian regime.

Noting that the whole world knows that Turkey is not being governed well, Kılıcdaroglu said in remarks to the members of the party council, “Such an administration will bring disaster to the country as well as to the region.”

“A solution without Assad has totally collapsed,” the CHP leader said.

The downing of the Russian jet came as Turkmen rebel groups were pounded while fighting against Syrian government forces to defend an area inhabited by Turkmens that is located just south of Turkey’s border province of Hatay.

Kurds represented by the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) control the northeastern part of the civil war-torn country, which represents around half the border Turkey has with Syria, while the terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) holds the central and eastern part of the country, as well as an almost-100-kilometer-long border area with Turkey.

The Syrian government headed by Assad controls the western part of the country that borders on the Mediterranean.

Accusing the Turkish government of exaggerating its capabilities while failing to assess the balance of power in the world, the CHP leader said, “My biggest concern is that the PYD will be at the table in the resolution of the Syrian problem, [but] I wonder if Turkmens will also have a seat at that table.”

The Turkmens may not have any weight in determining the future of Syria if they lose the Bucak area to the south of Hatay province, as the rest of the Turkmen population is dispersed around the country in areas controlled by other groups or by the government.

“Who is responsible for this picture?” asked Kılıcdaroglu, accusing the AK Party government of having led Turkey into a Middle East swamp.

It is widely argued that it is no longer possible for Syria to be united, as Assad is not expected to widen his control over most of the land that is now controlled by various rebel groups, and the rebels cannot topple Assad, who is backed by Russia, Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.


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