Top AKP official: We can reestablish direct relations with Syria
Turkey may establish direct relations with Syria and increase the level of bilateral ties, said Hayati Yazici, vice president of Turkey’s ruling AKP, in a televised interview with Turkey’s NTV Television.
"There can be more than one factor in solving problems. The most important way of solving problems in international diplomacy is dialogue. Until now, dialogue [between Syria and Turkey] was limited. We can raise the level a little bit. Relations with Damascus may become direct and the level may rise," he said.
Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said two weeks ago that his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin pointed at talking to the Assad regime to solve security issues involving Syria.
Last week, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu signaled a transformation in Turkey’s foreign policy towards Syria when he said he met with his Syrian counterpart Faisal Mikdat in Belgrade last year and talks were ongoing between the intelligence services of the two countries.
Cavusoglu also said that Turkey had to find a way to reconcile the Syrian opposition with the Syrian regime.
MHP Chairman Devlet Bahceli also supported the rapprochement by saying "The steps taken are valuable and accurate."
Cavusoglu’s remarks sparked anger in Northern Syria as crowds gathered in many streets to protest saying they will never make peace with the Assad regime.
The demonstrators stoned Turkish armored vehicles and burned a Turkish flag.
Diplomatic relations between Turkey and Syria were severed ten years ago when the civil war in Syria broke out. Turkey supported the armed rebels opposing the Syrian regime but the Assad administration, with the backing of Russian forces, succeeded in controlling the most of the territory in the country.