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Turkey Talks Tough but Rejects War with Syria

Bashar al-Assad can breathe a bit easier this morning, as Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdoğan has explicitly ruled out any military retaliation after Syrian forces shot down a Turkish fighter jet last Friday.

Turkey’s Today’s Zaman reports:

Ankara has long been saying that the Assad regime, facing a 16-month-long uprising, has been massacring its own people and that it has lost legitimacy, and insists that Assad should leave power. But in remarks following the jet crisis, Turkish officials have also rejected “warmongering,” saying Turkey will be measured in its response.

Turkish leaders aren’t known to be shy when it comes to defending national prestige, so the fact that they’re exercising restraint here indicates that they really don’t want to get mixed up in the Syrian war.

Via Meadia suspected that Turkey would keep its cool in this case. Now, with none of Syria’s neighbors pushing for intervention, Washington will have to think long and hard about whether to keep this item on the agenda or to roll back its anti-Assad rhetoric.

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  • Kris

    Ataturk’s goal (and legacy) was to transform the doddering and ineffectual Ottoman Empire into a strong and modern state. Is Erdogan trying to turn back the clock in all areas? His decapitation of the military certainly seems indicative.

  • Kris

    Kris@1: Ataturk must be a Mossad agent! 🙂

  • Kris

    Sigh. I don’t suppose I could convince a kind moderator to replace “Ataturk” in @2 with “Erdogan”?

  • Matthew

    What about this?

    From the AP on Jun 27:

    In a speech to parliament, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Syria shot down the unarmed reconnaissance plane in international airspace without warning in a “deliberate” and “hostile” act.

    “Any military element that approaches the Turkish border from Syria and poses a security risk and danger will be regarded as a threat and treated as a military target,” Erdogan said.

    “No one should be deceived by our cool-headed stance,” he added. “Our acting with common sense should not be perceived as a weakness.”

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