Speaking on France 24’s The Debate, Carnegie’s Sinan Ülgen discussed Turkey’s evolving role in Syria. He rejected the notion that Turkey’s latest moves in the region would ruin its relations with its neighbors, especially Iran and Syria. Turkey’s position has created tensions with its neighborhood, Ülgen admitted, but he argued that it will ultimately enhance the country’s image across the Arab World. He explained that Turkey’s democratic and economic vibrancy make it popular as a political model, naturally inclining Ankara to support pro-democracy movements in the Middle East.
Ülgen explained that the Turkish government’s decision on the creation of potential buffer zones in Syria is unlikely to be affected by the lack of public support domestically. He concluded by explaining that, despite recent bouts of illness, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would continue to serve in office, most likely running for presidency in 2014.