UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Amid the defeat of the ruling party in Ankara and Istanbul, Recep Tayyip Erdogan may soon force the demarcation of the opposition and militants in Idlib. Izvestia’s information was confirmed in the parliament of the republic. According to experts interviewed by Izvestia, before the Turkish president hesitated with this issue due to election preparations. Now, in order to strengthen his political capital for the presidential election in 2023, Erdogan will try to get the most out of the confrontation with the Republican People’s Party.
Such a policy is in line with the Astana agreements – Russia itself insisted that Turkey disarm the militants in Idlib as soon as possible.
The ruling Alliance of the People, which includes the Erdogan Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party, won at most polling stations throughout the country. Only the news from the three largest cities overshadowed the holiday – the opposition received more votes in Izmir, Ankara and Istanbul.
Such results may encourage the government to begin to act more actively in the Syrian direction – in particular, in the Idlib de-escalation zone.
– Of course, Idlib plays a large role not only in foreign but also in domestic politics. Right now everyone is obsessed with the election results, but it’s worth giving the authorities some time. I think the operation to delimit in Idlib will be held in coordination with Iranian and Russian forces, the deputy said.
At the same time, he recalled that just before the elections in Ankara, they were already talking about the beginning of active operations in Syria. Recep Erdogan promised immediately after the vote “to resolve the issue of Syria on the field, not at the table.”
For Russia, Turkey’s desire to step up the process in Idlib will be extremely positive. After the separation of militants and moderate opposition, it will be possible to begin the peaceful return of the city under the control of Damascus.
In March, it became known that Ankara began joint patrols with the Russian Federation of the borders of the Idlib exclave, a security zone 15–20 km deep. Following a meeting of the Joint Strategic Planning Group (SGSP) in Antalya on March 29, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the Russian and Turkish military are fulfilling a de-escalation memorandum and are moving step by step towards the task set by the presidents of Russia, Turkey and Iran to create three zones of joint patrols. Already now it is safe to say that Idlib will become one of the main topics of negotiations between Vladimir Putin and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which will be held on April 8 in Moscow.
– Syria allows you to “play with your muscles”, demonstrate the consistency of your policy. He may try to convince the electorate that the economy in the capitals under the opposition is deteriorating, and in Syria, the Turkish military is only strengthening its position.
The defeat in the local elections will indirectly affect the policy of the Turkish leader not only in the eastern, but also in the western direction.
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