Turkey and Russia: Key Countries to a Solution in Syria

The events that began in March 2011 with the Ba'ath regime's harsh reaction to demonstrators in Daraa, Syria have turned into a civil war that has so far cost the lives of more than 80,000 people and caused millions to flee their homes. It has now become abundantly clear that there can be no agreement on a democratic and humane solution with this bloody regime that is trying to use all its army's heavy weapons to intimidate its own innocent people.

In order for conflict, terror and war to come to an end in the entire Middle East, Syria in particular, and for a region living in peace to be built, an entirely new political reality needs to be created in the region. As with everywhere else in the world, people with different cultures, different religious beliefs and political opinions live in the Middle East. The only way in which such a mosaic structure can live in peace with the most advanced democracy is for a union of strong countries to adopt a common decision and approach.

No problem has ever been solved through violence in this world. Wars always lead to new wars, terror leads to terror and violence to acts of even worse violence. The sole key to the elimination of violence from the world and a peaceful life is for policies based on love to prevail. The first step to be taken to that end is for the sides to be convinced of a new Middle East order, by drawing a broad line, abandoning feelings of hatred, rage and obstinacy, and through the co-ordination of powerful countries.

A solution in Syria can be found through sound mediation by Turkey and Russia, both of which know the country best, which are trusted and have enjoyed bilateral relations with it for many years. On the one hand there is Turkey, which has inherited the Ottoman legacy; a country of exemplary peace that serves as an older brother among Muslims and the peoples of the Middle East. The peoples of Turkey and Syria have lived hand-in-hand for hundreds of years. On the other hand is Russia, which has used Syria as its own base in the Middle East for 60 years, which established political and economic relations with the people and gradually made itself very popular.

Due to long-standing Russian/Syrian relations, "the idea of a solution without Russia" is of course technically impossible. In addition, no country, and Turkey in particular, has demanded that Russia abandon its presence and interests in Syria and withdraw from the country or close its military bases there.

The Russian Federation will be able to maintain military, economic and political relations with the new Syrian government as it enjoys now. Turkey is giving Russia a guarantee on this. Once Russia has been reassured on these matters it will have no hesitation about doing what is required of it to find a solution and for the building of peace. Russia is the only country the Syrian regime will listen to. With Russian involvement, and its acting as guarantor, the Assad dictatorship will quickly lead the country to new elections and then Assad himself will retire from the political stage. In this way, a regime that has no qualms about threatening the Middle East and its own people, and about war and conflict will give way to a new and reasonable regime.

This new climate would also be welcomed by the U.S. and its allies. A new and democratic Syria would be broadly accepted because it will be regarded as one of the steps to a secure Middle East from the point of view of the U.S. and Israel as well.

One of the most alarming developments in Syria that has raised universal concern is the appearance of radical groups among the opposition. Neither Russia, the U.S. nor Turkey wants these groups to have any place in the new administration. The Republic of Turkey is a secular and democratic state of law, which lives by Islam in the most reasonable and peaceful way, in a manner compatible with its very essence. Muslims make up 99 percent of the population of Turkey and it serves as a role model for all other Islamic countries in terms of politics, law, humanity, quality and modernity. Turkey has Muslim leaders who believe that Islam condemns terror and believe in the rule of justice among countries. A new and democratic Syria needs to adopt Turkey as a role model, and needs its sound and deep-rooted heritage, culture and experience in order to produce a genuinely devout structure for its people, to eliminate sectarian conflict and to make a stand against extremist attitudes.

Turkey possesses a strength of opinion, knowledge and foresight that can put an end to conflict, not just in Syria, but throughout the Islamic world. Violence, extremist attitudes and a spirit of hostility have never been a solution for the Islamic community; to the contrary, they have always harmed the Islamic world. This also prevents the establishment of peace in the world. Yet Turkey wishes to make a reality of its idea of bringing all Muslims together in a common approach based on peace and love, "to secure rational and honest gains by abandoning violence and employing a campaign of ideas." Turkey is the only Islamic country that can undertake this historic duty. It is therefore the key country in terms of peace and a solution.

The urgent solution lies, not in arming either Assad or the opposition, but in both sides disarming and establishing a climate of peace. Turkey and Russia are powerful enough to establish a climate of peace under the most appropriate conditions by negotiating with the supporters of the regime and the opposition. Otherwise, Syria will turn into a lake of blood, millions will end up losing their lives in this civil war, and the Western world, Russia and the Middle East will suffer from the long-term consequences.


Posted on Huffington Post on May 21, 2013


2013-07-12 22:46:36

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