Europe's Indifference and Turkey's Interests
The situation over Afrin is becoming much tenser. Turkey not only gradually activates its military operations in Syria, but also reacts harshly to any criticism to the "Operation Olive Branch". Recently, the European Parliament adopted a resolution expressing its concernս over Turkey's intervention in the Kurdish-controlled areas calling on Turkey to withdraw its troops from Afrin. This resolution, which has no legal force, also points out that Turkey's actions aggravate the situation in Syria and negatively affect peaceful negotiations on the Syrian crisis.
As it was expected, the reaction of the Turkish authorities to this resolution was rather tough and sharp. Turkish President Erdogan not only stated that the European Parliament's resolution did not matter to them, but also "warned" that the European Parliament "has no right to teach Turkey." In his turn, Prime Minister Yildirim stated that with its actions in Afrin "Turkey protects Europe from terrorism, and instead of adopting such resolutions, Europe should pray for Turkey every day."
The reasons for Turkey's apparent cynicism may be many, but let's refer to the main ones.
First, due to its geographical position and resources, Turkey is able to push its interests both in its own country and in the region. The world is aware of the dictatorship in the country (people are being persecuted even for criticizing the authorities in social networks), human rights violations and activities against the Kurds. However, few are talking about it, and the statements are just criticisms that do not consider any action. In particular, it refers to the West that advocates democratic values, for which, however, losing its partner in the region and having good relations with it is a priority today.
Second, Turkey has succeeded in "assuring" Europe that it effectively implements the migrant deal signed with the EU. This is evidenced by the fact that just a few days ago the EU declared that Turkey will provide the second tranche of the 3 billion euros fixed by the deal. This step by the EU, despite the actions of the Turkish government in its own country and in Syria shows that the EU really believes that Turkey will be able to help get rid of this "headache." And as compensation Turkey's "generosity” is limited only by making critical statements from time to time.
Taking into account the above-mentioned, we can state that while the West continues to pursue a milder policy towards Turkey, acting only from the position of a passive critic, Turkey will start with more intensity and with shooting pursuing its own interests, not sparing even the lives of innocent women and children. It is no coincidence that a day before Turkey bombarded a hospital in Afrin, living 16 civilians dead.
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