Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war, Western and Turkish interests have not exactly been concordant. Since the very beginning, Turkey has supported the demand from the Syrian people for self-governance in Syria. Regarding the popular support for governmental change in Syria, two of the greatest countries in the region, Iran and Turkey, could not have predicted the outcome of Syria's civil war. While Iran expected the elimination of "all terrorist groups" within six months, Turkey expected the Assad regime to fall within three to four months. Predictions aside, today it is clear that the Syrian crisis has placed a heavy cost burden on the shoulders of both Iran and Turkey.
Since the end of World War I, the Western world has been ruling the Middle Eastern countries first with military occupations and then with the assistance of dictators. While exploiting economic resources in the region; namely oil, they demonized countries in the region to hide their own political agenda. We saw this with the Arab-Israeli wars of the 1950s, the occupation of Lebanon immediately after the oil crisis erupted in the 1970s, and the devastating war in that country, which ensued for nearly a decade. Further, the Iranian Revolution, the Iraqi-Iranian war, the Arab Spring and the emergence of terror smashing the Muslim populated regions, the occupation of Afghanistan and the germination of al-Qaida in the lands of war and devastation and the emergence of Daesh are now the new veil worn by Western forces as they aim for the re-occupation of Iraq and Syria.
Reshaping the Middle East in favor of their own interests, Western countries aim to manipulate Turkey according to their own political agenda. However, regarding specific issues especially, Turkey would like to prioritize her own national interests by resisting some of the Western policies in the Middle East. In fact, Turkey is still the only country in the region whose political interests coincide with those of the U.S., while the interests of Iran and the U.S. in the Middle East continue to be constantly divergent and often antagonistic. The recent foreign policies of the US in the Middle East, which I define as the hesitancy and passivity of the Obama administration, condemns the U.S. to get into an alliance with Iran, instead of Turkey. Indeed, the U.S. seems to have made a coalition with the PKK in Syria and Iran's Shiite militia and Hezbollah in Iraq.
In such contexts, the tension between Turkey and the U.S. seems as understandable as imminent. The two countries divergent political agendas regarding the Syrian crisis while 3 million Syrian refugees take shelter in Turkey and massive waves of refugees threaten the stability of European social structure, it seems petty for European countries to occupy their time criticizing Turkey. As a protracted candidate for EU membership, Turkey has strong economic, political and cultural relations with the EU while the U.S., on the other hand, aims to reduce the EU's effectiveness. Taking these dynamics into consideration, the hostile stance taken by the EU against Turkey seems all the more ridiculous and absurd. In fact, as the resolution of the Syrian political crisis would automatically resolve the refugee crisis, putting an end to the Syrian civil war would be much more urgent for Europe than for Turkey. Acting as a barrier that weakens the refugee wave as it approaches Europe, Turkey's role in the Syrian crisis is truly vital for the EU. In this respect, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's current tensions with the U.S. and the EU reflects his aspiration for reconstructing Turkey's relations with the Western world on a righteous basis. Indeed, the aforementioned hesitancy and passivity of the Obama administration in Syria has not only brought Turkey's relations with the West to a deadlock, but has also strengthened Iran's position in its region of influence.
During the religious sermons given in a mosque at Tehran University, the shouting of anti-American slogans and battle cries have never been an unusual occurrence. Therefore, it is reasonable to question the validity of the present rapprochement between the U.S. and Iran concerning the main issues of the Middle East. We hope that the U.S. will replace her hesitant and passive behavior in foreign policy with a much more influential political agenda that prioritizes the traditional alliances of the U.S. in the region. Obama's hesitancy and passivity in the Middle East results in the deaths of thousands of people in Iraq and Syria. Instead of taking a passive stance, these politicians must take a more active role in bringing peace to the region through effective foreign policy.
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