Jan 02 2018

Turkey to be more forceful on Syria, Iraq in 2018 – adviser

Turkey will  be more forceful in defending its interests in neighbouring Syria and Iraq in 2018 as its prestige increases internationally, according to Ilnur Çevik, senior adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Turkey  will also continue to bolster ties with Russia and work with Moscow on Syria, especially as a political solution to the conflict becomes more likely, Çevik said in a column for the Daily Sabah newspaper.

Erdoğan will also boost democracy in Turkey, with “several positive moves by the government that will also be welcomed in Western countries”, he said.

While some observers say the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) may have difficulty in securing a legislative majority in elections due in 2019, Erdoğan is set to win presidential elections in the same year because people see him as the best guarantee of the success of the new presidential system, Çevik said.

Changes to hundreds of laws, including those governing elections and political parties, will be passed by parliament during 2018 in preparation for full implementation of the presidential system in 2019, he said.

In relations with the United States, the solving of the visa crisis between the two countries signals that there will be more room to revamp ties and resolve some differences, such as U.S. support for Syrian militants affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the free movement of members of the Gülen movement, Çevik wrote.

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