Turkey's prime minister says he is sure relations will normalize with Syria. Bilateral relations collapsed as a result of Ankara’s backing of the Syrian opposition, but a major change in Turkish foreign policy could be in the offing.
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim's call for good relations with Syria is being seen as a major policy reversal.
Since the breakout of the Syrian civil war, Ankara has been one of the strongest backers of the opposition, calling for the removal of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.
Former senior Turkish diplomat Aydin Selcen, who served in the region, says the process of normalization with Syria will be step by step.
"It will be basically, first of all a counterterrorism approach; but, if it moves forward, then it might move to better political relations," he said.
Selcen says Ankara will be looking to Damascus to prevent Syrian Kurdish forces of the YPG from securing an autonomous region on Turkey’s border. Ankara accuses the YPG of being linked to the Turkish PKK, which government forces are currently fighting.
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