A recent statement by the prime minister that Turkey may ask NATO to implement Article 5 of the NATO Charter, which requires common action in the case of an attack on any member country, is likely to leave foreign relations in a difficult position.
The stance of our government does not overlap with the ideas of peace envoy Kofi annan and naturally with the stance of countries that have similar ideas to those of Annan. The prime minister did not believe the Annan plan would work from the beginning. He felt Assad wanted to buy time and stall world action by agreeing to the plan. This is a result of the fact that basically Ankara does not believe a solution can be reached through reconciliation with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In other words, Ankara is for a “solution without Assad.” While the government has adopted an anti-Assad stance to the Syria crisis, it supports the Syrian opposition and rebels. This attitude equates to taking sides and thereby taking risks. With regards to the Syrian crisis, the government and other actors had best move forward calmly and unwaveringly.