Turkey fears it may lose influence as Syria roils

18.05.2011                      14.Ijar, 5771                      Pesach Scheni; Tag 29 des Omer

Beziehungen:

Turkey fears it may lose influence as Syria roils

While Turkish leader Erdogan touts his friendship with Syria's Assad, cracks are starting to show in the two countries' relationship, writes Zvi Bar'el putting Ankara in a tough spot.

To judge from recent comments, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sees unrest in Egypt and Syria as sharing a common thread. "[Syrian President Bashar] Assad must not reject his nation's demands for peace and democracy," he said in an interview with the American journalist, Charlie Rose, on PBS. Those are more or less the same words he used some two months ago when he proposed to then Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak "to respond to the demands of his nation and to carry out immediate reforms."
But that is where the similarity in his ties to the two leaders ends. Erdogan's relations with Mubarak were unfriendly, even tense. Mubarak did not allow Erdogan to intervene in the conflicts in the Middle East, he despised the Islamist and "Ottoman" tendencies of his foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglo, while the closeness between Turkey, Syria and Iran turned Turkey into a suspect country in the eyes of Mubarak….