Iraq alignment gives Turkey second chance in region after failures

Turkey has the opportunity to correct past policy mistakes and assert itself in the Middle East after the United States and European Union refused to back Iraq’s Kurds in a push for independence from Baghdad.

After “miscalculating utterly” by backing Jihadists in Syria and supporting now-imprisoned former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, it’s not too late for Turkey to become the major regional power, wrote Stephen Carr, author of Revolt in Syria: Eye-Witness to the Uprising (Oxford University Press: 2012), in Arab Weekly.

Whether Turkey’s catastrophic regional policies were the work of a perverse bout of self-sabotage or simply an inability to foresee where events were headed, it now seems to have finally seen the light.

With Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gaining the upper hand in Syria, Turkey has also moved closer to Iran and Russia less than two years after causing major damage to its economy by shooting down a Russian jet.

Still, while Ankara may be elated to find itself on the same side as Washington and Brussels on northern Iraq, it should act with caution and learn from calamitous strategic mistakes over the past decade, Carr wrote.

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is due to meet with his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim in Ankara on Oct. 25 to discuss joint steps against the Kurdish regional government.