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Diplomacy comes first

Apr 09,2018 - Last updated at Apr 09,2018

The mere thought of deploying a few hundred French soldiers in Manbij in the north of Syria was enough for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to issue a stern warning to his French counterpart French President Emmanuel Macron against any such move.

President Erdogan left no doubt about how he feels about the involvement of France in the war between Turkey and the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) deployed along the Turkish Syrian borders, when he called on the French leader to make a choice between Turkey and the YPG. And when President Macron made an offer to mediate between Turkey and the YPG, President Erdogan immediately rejected the offer and accused France of siding with "terrorists".

While understanding the concerns and anxieties of Ankara about the presence of the YPG along its southern flank, foreclosing all peace overtures does not seem right. President Erdogan, obviously, has deep complexes about any Kurdish movement and remains allergic to any Kurdish military presence, irrespective of whether it constitutes a real danger to Turkey or not.

Any exaggeration of the YPG threat to Turkey may not be the right diplomacy. Calling the Kurdish movement a “terrorist organisation” simply because it is Kurdish is counterproductive. The conflict with the YPG requires a diplomatic solution not a military one. Seeking a military solution to the standoff between the two sides may not be a viable or a lasting solution.

History, ancient and contemporary, has taught us that conflicts between two peoples cannot be solved by military means alone. That is why the offer of Paris to mediate between Ankara and the YPG may offer a peaceful way out of the deadlock and offer Turkey a lasting safety and protection from the YPG.

Turkey is entitled to national security and the protection of its territorial integrity. This end can be best achieved through diplomacy. At least diplomacy must be tried out first, and if all fails, then the military option becomes more tenable and understandable.

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Comments

"While understanding the concerns and anxieties of Ankara about the presence of the YPG along its southern flank" ?

No. Absolutely not. All the Rojavans have ever asked for is good relations with Turkey. There has never been any "threat" whatsoever. And in response Turkey has sent ISIS fighters into Afrin to commit murder on an epic scale. Erdogan is a war criminal, and Turkey is a pariah state. Both should be treated as such.

HAVE YOU NOT COME TO A CONCLUSION THAT THE BEST PHRASE IN THE INTERNATIONAL DIPLOMACY TODAY IS TO BRAND ANY PARTY, GROUP OF PEOPLE OR COUNTRIES THAT DO NOT AGREE WITH YOU A TERRORIST ORGANISATIONS?

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