According to the Turkish newspaper Zaman, Doğu Perincek, the head of the Turkish Nationalist Patriotic Party, has announced that he will visit President Bashar al-Assad before the beginning of the new year.
According to Zaman, Perincek confirmed that he would participate in a party meeting in the Turkish province of Siirt. “We will go to Syria with our friend, the Turkish businessman Adham Sancak, in the next two months — in November or December — at the invitation of Assad,” he reportedly said.
“Syrians are brothers to the Turkish people and all the obstacles and walls that have been placed between the two countries will be removed,” Perincek said. “Let the trucks come, let the trade convoys come and go, let the goods produced here be exported. We will revive trade with our neighbors, and we will hold talks with them.”
Perincek stressed that his visit to Syria “aims to end terrorism in Syria and bring peace and tranquillity to Turkey. The visit intends to create conditions for increasing production, building peace, and sparking bilateral trade.”
Zaman pointed out that Perincek has been talking since September about “the date of his alleged visit to Damascus, which was announced several times postponed, following statements by President Erdogan and Turkish officials on easing tensions with Syria.”
“After more than a decade of tensions, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last August confirmed reports of normalization of Turkish relations with Damascus. He noted that Turkey does not seek to remove Bashar al-Assad, contrary to previous statements,” Perincek said.
It is noteworthy that Turkish officials are constantly talking about Ankara’s intention towards rapprochement with Damascus and ending diplomatic feuds with it without Turkey taking any practical and serious steps in this regard. In the same context, Russian political expert Viktor Mikhin wrote in an article about the matter, which was published in the Russian and English-language newspaper New Eastern Outlook. “Erdogan is gambling everything to stay in power for another five years, reflected in the Turkish president’s announcement that he could meet with Assad when the time comes,” Mikhin wrote. “The elections prompted the Turkish president to think pragmatically, leading him to move away from the policy he has been committed to for over a decade towards Damascus.”
On the other hand, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stressed that work is being done to raise the current relations between the intelligence services to the diplomatic level.
Cavusoglu added that the Turkish authorities maintain their position on Syria based on four strategic objectives: “protecting Syria’s territorial integrity, achieving lasting stability based on a political solution, clearing our borders of terrorist organizations, and repatriating Syrians to their country safely.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.