The 70th United Nation (UN) session was one of the most long-awaited events of this year for major political leaders. With the recent US military actions in Syria and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s long-lasting dream to sink Al Assad’s regime, Turkey was carrying out an ambitious plan to take up a dominant position in the Middle East.
In July 2015, Turkey decided to open access for the US to launch air strikes against Daesh from its military base in Incirlik as well as its bases in Syria and Iraq. The decision, officially acknowledged by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, meant that the Turkey—US coalition would become a breakthrough in the anti-Daesh fight while Erdogan would gain higher national ranking just before the early Presidential elections in Turkey in November. In return, the US would create so called safe zones on the Syria—Turkey border, thus protecting them from Daesh, Kurdish radicals and safe from Al Assad’s aggression.
However, Russia’s military actions in Syria launched just after the UN session crushed down Erdogan’s plan, turning Turkey from the most influential decision maker in the region into a theatre of the Russia—US fight over the civil war in Syria.
Erdogan is often being described as an ambitious and Sultan-like leader, or at least that is what the international media refers to him. Indeed, Erdogan has gained a reputation of an ingenious tightrope walker when it comes to international affairs. Noting that Turkey is a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (Nato) and receives enormous aid from the US in fighting Daesh and the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK).
The major challenge facing Turkey today is dealing with PKK, alongside its gambling with Russia and US. By doing so, Turkey is putting its own territory at a huge risk. Obviously, Erdogan’s illogical haste to topple the Al Assad regime has put the Turkish leader in a very vulnerable and unstable situation both on the national and international level.
— The reader is a Russian writer based in Moscow, Russia