Turkey's Syria incursion returns scant profit - FT

The increase in support for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's ruling party from the country's northeast Syria offensive was a flash in the pan, the Financial Times said on Monday.

"Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, enjoyed strong domestic backing for last month’s contentious military incursion into Syria, but already that patriotic bounce has begun to fade," the Financial Times said.

The operation, which began on Oct. 9, helped Erdoğan generated a wave of nationalist sentiment that drew attention away from the struggling economy.

But Erdoğan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) gained a limited political boost and, together with its far-right Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), improved its poll ratings by between only two and four percentage points, the newspaper said.

“Normally, one would expect much larger fallout than what happened,” the Financial Times quoted Can Selçuki, the director of the consultancy Istanbul Economics Research (IER), as saying.

Erdoğan has successfully neutralised the opposition by using national security issues to dominate the political agenda, but the effects of the troubled economy may override that effect.

“The impact of the Syrian incursion on domestic politics will be short term,” said Toygar Sinan Baykan, an assistant professor at Kırklareli University.

“Problems regarding rule of law, the economy - sooner or later the public will go back to discussing these issues,” he said.