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Re: [alpha] INSIGHT - SYRIA/TURKEY/KSA - KSA and Turkey fed up with the Syrian regime - Syria working with PKK? - ME1

Released on 2012-03-08 08:00 GMT

Email-ID 107944
Date 2011-08-09 09:28:51
A reliable media report that I saw says that US expert on Syria Fred Hof
was present in Ricciardione's meeting with IK yesterday. Apparently Turkey
is still opposed to sanctions and military intervention. It's not clear
what US demands from Turkey concretely.


From: "Emre Dogru"
To: "Alpha List"
Sent: Tuesday, August 9, 2011 10:21:33 AM
Subject: Re: [alpha] INSIGHT - SYRIA/TURKEY/KSA - KSA and Turkey fed up
with the Syrian regime - Syria working with PKK? - ME1

I don't think Syria has come to a point where it decided to support PKK
against Turkey. That's always possible as I said in my comment yesterday,
but would be a very risky move for Syria. Plus, I'm not sure how much PKK
would listen to Damascus now. As far as I know, Turkish and Syrian
factions within PKK do not see eye to eye on many issues. It should also
be remembered that Ocalan warned PKK against being pulled into Syrian
orbit and this makes it all the more difficult for Damascus.
As far as the popular pressure is concerned, I really doubt that what the
Turkish diplomat says reflects the truth 100 percent. I'm not seeing a
public pressure on AKP that would force it to intervene in Syria no matter
what (weeping Emine is a silly example). I mean, if you think about it,
you would expect much more reaction from an Islamist Sunni government
government in Turkey, especially during Ramadan. All Islamist ministers
condemn Syria, but they don't go beyond. You would expect mass protests,
demonstrations before the Syrian embassy, rallies and hunger strikes in
Taksim square etc. Nothing is taking place and probably AKP controls the
public reaction not to get under pressure.
As such, I don't think Turks are looking for an excuse to intervene.


From: "Kamran Bokhari"
Sent: Monday, August 8, 2011 7:58:22 PM
Subject: Re: [alpha] INSIGHT - SYRIA/TURKEY/KSA - KSA and Turkey fed up
with the Syrian regime - Syria working with PKK? - ME1

I have noticed how senior Turkish figures have been extremely emotional in
their anger and sadness about the way in which the Syrians have been
killing their citizens. I think the Turks are very close to saying fuck it
with regards to the Syrian regime. I don't think Ankara will use the
military. Rather its political influence among the Sunnis, which doesn't
have to do with the common fiqh (most Muslims do not relate on the fiqhi
basis) and instead general sectarian, ideological, and historical
linkages. The AKP has developed good ties with its own Alevi population,
which they will use to influence the Alawites in Syria.

On 8/8/11 12:07 PM, Michael Wilson wrote:

PUBLICATION: background/analysis
SOURCE DESCRIPTION: ME1 reflecting on his meetings with Turkish and
Saudi ambassadors to Lebanon
Reliability : B
ITEM CREDIBILITY: 4 - pretty dramatic viewpoints.
** The source's mention of Syria 'talking' to PKK caught my eye. Does
Turkey thing Syria is trying to ramp up PKK to distract Turkey from any
military adventurism in Syria? Have we heard anything else on this?

There is nothing that Bashar Asad can do at this point to salvage his
regime. This is the impression that I got today from communicating with
both the TUrkish and Saudi ambassadors. Both diplomats say Asad has
defied their repeated requests that he listens to his people but he
chose, instead, to deal with the protests in a very heavy-handed manner.
The Turkish diplomat says Asad thinks that former Egyptian president
Husni Mubarak and his Tunisian counterpart Zayn al-Abidin bin Ali fell
because they did not use enough coercive force to crush the protests and
gave up too soon. The Saudi Diplomat says Asad has consistently
discarded king Abdullah's advice. Abdullah sent his son Abdulaziz to
relay to Asad that the Saudi king really likes him and considers him as
his son. Abdulaziz told Asad to be more flexible and display grace in
dealing with his frustrated people. Asad has made it extremely difficult
for Abdullah to come to the rescue, and noted that he has to listen to
the Saudi people, especially the religious establishment, who are
vehemently anti-Asad.

The Turkish source says his country's minister of foreign affairs Davut
Oglu will be serving the Syrians an ultimatum tomorrow. He says the
Syrian regime is talking to the PKK. He adds that the Syrian regime has
crossed the red line and will have to bear the cost of its short sight
and recalcitrance. The anti-Asad regional and international storm is
gathering. He ays this development and changing attitude towards Asad is
of the utmost necessity for legitimizing future Turkish military action
inside Syria. The Saudi source says Abdulaziz told Asad on a number of
occasions to avoid giving the Turks a reason to interfere in Syria, but
it seems Asad has not succeeded in grasping the complexity of the
regional situation. KSA does not want Turkey to expand its regional
position because it will only come at the expense of moderate Arabs.

The Turkish diplomat says Asad's crudeness is threatening Turkey's
stability. The Syrian government has lost its ability to control its own
side of the 850 km long border between the two countries. He says there
is, in addition, a strong popular pressure inside Turkey for
intervention in Syria. He gave one example - the Turkish prime
minister's wife is an ethnic Syrian. She keeps crying when she sees
gruesome images coming from Syria. She has been telling Erdogan to do
something about it. The Turkish diplomat was quick to add that Turkish
foreign policy is not determined by the tears of a weeping wife. He says
there are very many similar cases of pressure coming from Turkey. Many
Turks still consider Syria an extension of Turkey and there are millions
of ethnic Arabs living in Turkey. Both Turks and Syrians share a similar
culture and adherence to the same school of Islamic jurisprudence, i.e.,
the Hanafi school.

Both Turkish and Saudi diplomat expect the spread of the protest
movement in Syria to Aleppo and Damascus and seem to accept that the
Syrian uprising is unstoppable. They argue that it is too late for Asad
to do something about it at this point. Both concur that the worst is
yet to happen in Syria.

Michael Wilson
Director of Watch Officer Group, STRATFOR
Office: (512) 744 4300 ex. 4112

Emre Dogru
Cell: +90.532.465.7514
Fixed: +1.512.279.9468

Emre Dogru
Cell: +90.532.465.7514
Fixed: +1.512.279.9468