Miscalculations Behind Turkey’s Regional Setbacks

Miscalculations Behind Turkey’s Regional SetbacksMiscalculations Behind Turkey’s Regional Setbacks

Turkey has made "strategic errors of judgment" in the region in recent years that resulted from miscalculations,  a lawmaker said Saturday.

Kamal Dehqani Firouzabadi, a reformist member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, made the statement in a talk with ICANA, denouncing Turkey's support for militants fighting to topple the government in Syria since 2011.  

"Certain countries, including Turkey, strongly supported terrorists in the Syrian conflict, because they perceived their interest in changing the system in Syria," he said. Turkey is one of the main opponents of the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and insists he must step down in the interest of peace and stability. In contrast, Iran is a major ally of the government in Damascus and maintains that only the Syrian people should decide their own political future.

Dehqani Firouzabadi said he believes the flawed Turkish policy has empowered terrorists and enabled them to commit atrocities inside Turkey.

"Turkish officials, with their wrong positions on regional problems and double standards on terrorism, actually invited terrorists into their country."

Turkey has been the scene of a series of terrorist attacks this year, the deadliest of which was last Tuesday, when three suicide bombers opened fire and blew themselves up in the third-busiest European airport, Istanbul's Ataturk. The attacks, which killed 43 people and injured 239, has been blamed on the self-styled Islamic State militant group. The MP said he believes Turkey's recent efforts to mend ties with Russia have arisen from realization of its wrong approach.

  Fatal Mistakes

"Today, five years after the Syria crisis started, Ankara has realized its fatal mistakes and seeks to change its policies, an example of which is its bid to reconcile with Moscow." Moscow-Ankara ties plunged to an unprecedentedly lows after a Turkish F-16 fighter downed a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 bomber in northern Syria in November 2015.

In recent days, Turkish officials have expressed hope for a quick normalization of ties with Moscow.

The Kremlin said last Monday that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had formally apologized to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin over the incident. On Wednesday, Putin ordered his government to start the process of normalizing trade and other ties with Turkey.

Turkey also signed an agreement with Israel to resume political and economic relations on Tuesday. Relations between Turkey and the occupying power were cut in 2010, after Israeli commandos killed 10 pro-Palestinian Turkish activists who tried to sail to the Gaza Strip to break its illegal blockade of the impoverished strip.