The Turkish Prime Minister, Binali Yıldırım, welcoming the journalist Mustafa Karaalioğlu, declared that his government had laid out a new approach to the Syrian question for his Iranian interlocutors – it has three points -

 To maintain the territorial integrity of Syria (which means preventing the creation of a new state in the North of the country, insofar as Ankara no longer controls the Syrian Kurds, who are now fighting each other);
 To prevent the domination of one ethnic group or religious confession (which implies maintaining the secular Baas party and keeping President el-Assad in power);
 To organise the return to their homes of the Syrian refugees in Turkey (or in any case, some of them, because others – of the Sunni confession, reputed to be opposed to the Republic – have been offered apartments specially built for them in the areas of Turkey peopled by the Kurds). This third point does not anticipate a similar decision by Lebanon and Jordan, which can only be made by those states.

This positive approach is similar to the one professed by Turkey at the beginning of the Geneva negotiations, but did not at that time correspond in any way to its attitude on the ground.

« Başbakan Binali Yıldırım Suriye’de çözümün yolunu Karar’a anlattı », Karar, 16 Ağustos 2016.

Pete Kimberley