Nytt

Forholdet mellom Ankara og Damaskus er kjølig, på grensen til brudd. Flyktningene forteller om grusomheter, og Ankara har gjort det klart at må man velge mellom folket og ledere, så velger man folket.

Tyrkia har svingt fra et hjertelig til et kjølig forhold til Assad-regimet. Det har fått Tyrkia til å se varmere på forholdet til Israel. Opprøret i Syria har dermed fått politiske konsekvenser for regionen allerede.

Erdogan har oppfordret Assad til å endre kurs før det er for sent. Assads tale mandag var ikke i nærheten av å innfri. Det ser dermed ut til at Assad vil løpe linen ut, og at han og regimet før eller siden vil falle. Ankara vil ikke binde seg til masten med et regime som bruker slike metoder.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s prime minister, has attacked the repression as «savagery» and urged Assad to sack its military mastermind, his brother Maher, and implement genuine reforms in the spirit of the «Arab spring».

But Erdogan has so far failed to demand that the Syrian president stand down – as he did with Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.

Still, officials, diplomats and analysts say that a bilateral relationship that has flourished politically and economically in recent years is now badly, perhaps irreparably, damaged.

«The rapprochement between Erdogan and Assad has pretty much broken down,» said Fadi Hakura of the Chatham House thinktank in London. «Turkey is becoming ever more strident and direct, and this is causing deep unease in Damascus.»

On Wednesday the Syrian foreign minister, Walid al-Moallem, publicly urged Turkey to reconsider its hostile stand, but the Turkish ambassador immediately dismissed the call.

«The relationship has become very frosty,» said Hugh Pope, Istanbul director for the International Crisis Group. Erdogan had been urging Assad to make domestic changes since before the uprising began in March.

Men kan avskyen for volden ligger også andre motiver. Erdogan, ifølge en kommentator, står nærmere det muslimske brorskap enn Assad. Det er en megetsigende uttalelse.

«Turkey’s close rapport with the US regarding … Syrian politics shows Turkey has completely parted company with Assad,» commented Nihat Ali Özcan in the Hurriyet daily.

«Erdogan doesn’t want another diplomatic crisis in the context of Syria, like the one instigated by the nuclear issue with Iran. We can say that he is ideologically much closer to the Muslim Brotherhood than Assad.»

The US has praised Turkey for its «big heart» in helping refugees. «But clearly, Turkish patience appears to be wearing thin, and we share all of their humanitarian and political concerns,» said a US state department spokesman.

Erdogan oppnår dermed to ting: ved å være humanitær vinner han poeng og goodwill både i Washington og Jerusalem. Samtidig vinner han goodwill hos Det muslimske brorskap.

Turkey tells Bashar al-Assad to cease Syria repression
Recep Tayyip Erdogan asks president to sack brother and military mastermind as more refugees cross the border