Executive Intelligence Review


Putin’s New Flank To Restore Stability Between Syria and Turkey

Jan. 30, 2019 (EIRNS)—When they met in Moscow on Jan. 23, Russian President Vladimir Putin raised to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the possibility of reviving the 1998 Adana security agreement signed between Turkey and Syria. A report in Al Monitor not only provides some detail about the agreement, but also suggests that this is a new flank by Russia to restore Syrian-Turkish relations and Syrian sovereignty over eastern Syria. Al Monitor’s Turkish correspondent Fehim Tastekin reports that the 1998 agreement was signed after Syria had agreed to expel Abdullah Ocalan, the founder of the separatist Kurdistan People’s Party (PKK), who now sits in a Turkish prison.

“The deal stipulated naming the PKK as a terror outfit, closing training camps, terminating its organizational and commercial activities, handing over captured militants, preventing PKK leaders from traveling to other countries via Syria and setting up telephone connections between the two countries,”

Tastekin writes.

“Twenty years later, a move to revive the pact will require Ankara and Damascus to work together. Turkish political opposition parties see the reference to the accord as meaning the government must speak with Damascus.”

The Turks have responded positively to Putin’s invoking of the treaty, because, they say, it gives Turkey the right to intervene in Syria, that is, chasing terrorist suspects as far as 5 km into Syrian territory, in case of a terror attack in Turkey; but Tastekin says that there is no such stipulation in the text of the agreement. What Putin has in mind, however, is not that but something different, Tastekin reports. His approach is for the Syrian army to take control of the area and to find solutions to Turkey’s security concerns within the Adana Accord.