Report: Erdogan could talk to Assad over phone
Turkiye newspaper, known to be close to the government in Turkey published on Tuesday an article on its front page saying that Turkey and Syria attained the phase of forming a joint commission to reestablish bilateral ties and President Erdogan could soon talk to Syrian leader Bashar Al Assad over the phone.
There was no immediate comment from the Turkish government.
The article, titled “the move to put out the fire in Syria” said that ‘Assad’s mentor’, the Syrian poet Ali Ahmet Said İsbir was in the forefront of civilian talks between the sides.
The newspaper said the commission will consist of experts who know the region well.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told reporters after his meeting with Vladimir Putin that his Russian counterpart asked him to work closely with the Syrian administration to solve the security issues.
Turkey stepped up preparations for a military offensive in northern Syria to push mainly Kurdish SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces), a US ally in the region against the Islamic State but deemed terrorist by Turkey due to its affiliations with the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), an armed group fighting with Turkey for four decades.
Erdogan said that intelligence agencies from both sides were already negotiating but the whole point was to get results.
Turkiye newspaper said that a Gulf country and another Islamic country in Africa were meditating between Syria and Turkey but as Ankara says it is "too early" for a meeting between the leaders, a phone call could be more appropriate.
Samir Hafiz, one of the Syrian intellectuals-politicians and former Turkmen Assembly President, stated that the Ankara-Damascus tensions caused losses to both countries.
“The current situation exhausted both the Syrians and the Turkish people. The winners of this mess are Iran, Israel and the PKK. By re-establishing safe areas in Syria, we should restore our people's dignified lives in our country,” he said.