Monday, October 21, 2013

Turkish maze: Discrediting Erdogan through Fidan on Syria through Iran?

"...Speculation is nevertheless rife in Ankara about the articles' “content and timing,” as Davutoglu put it. Stories in The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post are taken seriously in Turkey. The assumption is that Washington and Israel are pressuring Turkey over Fidan through the media. A number of reasons have been cited, the most prominent one concerning Syria.The suggestion is that Washington, which is already annoyed by Ankara's alleged assistance to jihadist groups in Syria, is increasingly unhappy about the Erdogan government’s one-track policy of ousting Assad by military means. The Obama administration is currently working with Russia on a diplomatic settlement that would involve the Assad regime, if not Assad himself, sitting at the negotiating table. That prospect remains anathema to Erdogan. His supporters say the articles are an attempt to discredit Fidan by linking him to Iran, because he is considered one of the main architects of Erdogan’s Syria policy.
Ankara and Tehran are currently at odds over Syria, where they are backing opposing sides, which makes intelligence cooperation between the two countries unlikely. Erdogan supporters charge that Washington and Israel are, for their current needs, resurrecting past allegations that pertain to a radically different political environment.
Diplomatic sources indicate that Fidan is also seen in Washington as an obstacle to normalized ties between Turkey and Israel and is accused of undermining efforts by the Foreign Ministry in Ankara to improve relations following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s US-brokered apology to Turkey in March over the Mavi Marmara incident...
... if the aim is to get rid of Fidan — and many in Ankara believe this to be true — by pressuring the Erdogan government through the media, the effort will most likely fail. The goal could, however, be warning shots at Ankara not necessarily to remove Fidan, but to rein him in. Even if that is the case, success is still not guaranteed...."

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