Turkish PM couldn’t get what he expected on Syria from US visit: HUGH POPE (ICG)

21 May 2013 – JTW – Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan did not get what he was hoping for on the Syria issue from his U.S. visit, according to the head of the International Crisis Group.

“Regarding the Syrian issue, I think he [Erdoğan] couldn’t get what he expected,” Hugh Pope told daily Hürriyet, adding that the most significant message from Erdoğan’s visit was that the U.S. did not have any intention of conducting a military operation in Syria to topple the Bashar al-Assad regime.

“The most significant message is this: The United States has no intention of any military operation to topple the al-Assad regime. If Erdoğan was expecting that, then he should have been disappointed, because for one and a half years he has become quite isolated over his policy demanding al-Assad to go,” Pope said. A recent report by the group said Turkey has struggled to find the right response to the Syrian civil war and must stop betting its reputation on a quick resolution to the crisis. Asked if Erdoğan was isolated in the Western bloc, Pope said: “No, I’m talking about a more general situation here. No one is closer to the fire than Turkey. Turkey pays the cost of the ongoing events.” Pope also said the Syrian crisis has shown Turkey’s insufficiency in solving crises in the region on its own.