Turkiye likely to normalize ties with Syria after Egypt, says Erdogan

Turkiye-Syria ties could develop in the future in a similar manner to how Turkiye developed ties with Egypt, Turkish President said Sunday.

“Just as Turkiye-Egypt relations started to normalize, in the next period it can also happen with Syria. There is no room for hard feelings in politics,” Erdogan emphasized at an event in Konya.

The Turkish President has announced that Turkiye’s ongoing reconciliation with Egypt could also take place with the Syrian regime, which appears to confirm increasing reports in this regard.

At an event in the Turkish city of Konya on Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that “Just as Turkiye-Egypt relations started to normalize, in the next period it can also happen with Syria. There is no room for hard feelings in politics.”

He also said “hopefully” the normalization process with Egypt will continue at the ministerial level.

“Recently, we have experienced a problem spanning nine years. We took a step that evening, with the support of Qatar’s emir. After overcoming the tension, we had a narrow-scoped meeting with al-Sisi for half an hour or 45 minutes,” Erdogan said.

Detailing the two leaders’ meeting in Qatar, Erdogan said: “Now let our lower-level ministers start the talks, and then let us expand and develop our talks, all we care about is to remove this resentment between Egypt and Turkiye. There should not be such a problem between Turkiye and Egypt in the Mediterranean.”

“Now that the process has begun, a process will continue with our ministers and then come together in the Mediterranean. The connections between the Egyptian people and Turkiye are very different, we should not lose this power to others,” he added.

Erdogan stressed that there are those who wanted to turn Turkiye’s discontent with the Gulf countries into their benefits, adding: “When these issues are eliminated, the plans are collapsed.”

“Our relations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are in a very good position. It will be even better,” he said, adding: “This is obviously disturbing some circles.”

Last week, Erdogan shook hands and chatted with Sisi as the two met in the Qatari capital on the sidelines of the opening of the 2022 World Cup.

Erdogan’s reference to likely reconciliation with Syria after Egypt was the latest confirmation of a series of reports that emerged over the past year that Ankara would reconcile with the Syrian regime and its President Bashar Al-Assad 11 years after cutting off ties due to the Syrian security services’ brutal crackdown on peaceful protests during the Syrian revolution.

In July, the Turkish government said that it is willing to work with the Assad regime to bring the Kurdish militias in north-east Syria under control and, the following month, Erdogan directly admitted that he does not seek to remove Assad from power.

More recently, President Erdogan confirmed intelligence talks and cooperation with Syria and, last week, iterated that a meeting with Assad is possible.

Erdogan’s latest hint at reconciliation with the Syrian regime over the weekend came a week after his historic handshake with his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.