After a decade of relatively friendly relations with Syria during the prior decade, Turkey condemned Syrian president Bashar al-Assad over the violent crackdown on protests in 2011 and later that year joined a number of other countries demanding his resignation. From the beginning of the war, Turkey trained defectors of the Syrian Army in its territory under the supervision of the Turkish National Intelligence Organisation (MİT), among whom emerged the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in July 2011. In May 2012, the MİT began arming and training the FSA and provided them with a base of operations. Tensions between Syria and Turkey significantly worsened after Syrian forces shot down a Turkish fighter jet in June 2012, and border clashes erupted in October 2012. On 24 August 2016, the Turkish Armed Forces began a direct military intervention into Syria by declaring Operation Euphrates Shield, mainly targeting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The military operations have resulted in the Turkish occupation of northern Syria. Turkey’s involvement in the Syrian conflict has been widely criticized by United Nations and Western leaders. In this episode, Bahadir, Erkin and Sarp dive deep into Turkish foreign politics in the context of Syrian Civil War which reaches its grim decade-long milestone, and they discuss whether criticisms directed toward Turkey hold true.
Produced by: Bahadir Sirin