When Recep Tayyip Erdogan became Turkey’s prime minister in 2003, he seemed to be certain of the new direction his country would take. It would maintain cordial ties with Turkey’s old friends, Israel included, but also reach out to its Arab and Muslim neighbors, Syria in particular. The friendly relations between Ankara and Damascus soon morphed from rhetorical emphasis on cultural ties into trade deals and economic exchanges worth billions of dollars. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s vision of a ‘zero-problems’ foreign policy seemed like a truly achievable feat, even in a region marred by conflict, foreign occupations and ‘great game’ rivalry.
For more on this story, visit: Turkey and the Syrian ‘Abyss’ » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names.