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The Need for Turkey and Syria to Reconcile



In the volatile and ever-shifting landscape of the Middle East, the need for Turkey and Syria to reconcile has never been more pressing.


For years, these neighboring nations have been entangled in a complex web of geopolitical conflicts and proxy wars, leaving their relations strained and their people suffering. As time marches on, it becomes increasingly evident that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has no choice but to seek reconciliation with his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad.


Regional Stability

One of the most compelling reasons for Erdogan to reconcile with Assad is the imperative of regional stability. The protracted conflict in Syria has had a destabilizing effect on the entire region, giving rise to extremist groups, creating a refugee crisis, and fostering a breeding ground for terrorism. Turkey's direct involvement in the Syrian conflict has not only strained its relationship with neighboring countries but has also contributed to the overall instability in the region. By reconciling with Syria, Turkey can play a pivotal role in fostering peace and security in the Middle East.


Economic Interdependence

Another crucial factor that underscores the need for reconciliation is the economic interdependence between Turkey and Syria. Prior to the conflict, these two nations had thriving trade relations, which have been disrupted significantly in recent years. A return to normalcy in trade relations could benefit both countries' economies and help alleviate the economic challenges faced by their citizens. Turkey, in particular, stands to gain access to Syrian markets and resources, which could boost its economy in the long run.


Kurdish Question

The conflict in Syria has empowered Kurdish forces, particularly the Syrian Democratic Forces, which have received support from the United States in their fight against ISIS. Erdogan's concerns about the rise of Kurdish militias on Turkey's border have driven a significant portion of Turkey's military involvement in Syria. Reconciliation with Assad could potentially lead to a joint strategy for dealing with the Kurdish question, reducing the security threat along Turkey's southern border.


Changing Regional Dynamics

The United States, a key ally of Turkey, has shifted its focus away from the Middle East, leaving a power vacuum in the region. Meanwhile, Russia and Iran have strengthened their positions and influence in Syria. Given these shifting dynamics, Erdogan finds himself in a weaker position to dictate the terms of any potential resolution with Syria. Reconciliation with Assad could help Turkey regain some influence and manoeuvrability in the region.


Humanitarian Crisis

The Syrian conflict has caused immense suffering, leading to a refugee crisis of unprecedented proportions. Millions of Syrian refugees have sought shelter in Turkey, straining its resources and infrastructure. Reconciliation between Turkey and Syria could pave the way for a coordinated effort to address the humanitarian crisis, allowing refugees to return to their homes and rebuild their lives.


In the current geopolitical climate, Erdogan's current position leaves him in a weakened state, unable to dictate the terms of a new normal with Syria. While the path to reconciliation will undoubtedly be fraught with challenges, the potential benefits for both countries and the entire Middle East cannot be ignored.

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