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February 13th, 2012

Fadi Hakura is a Turkey expert and associate fellow at Chatham House, a UK foreign policy thinktank.

Fadi Hakura Why Turkey is increasing pressure on Assad

Syria is heading to an “intolerable situation” according to Turkey’s hyperactive Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, whose country is at the forefront of global efforts to engineer the downfall of the Bashar Al-Assad leadership.

Less than two years ago, relations were diametrically different.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan considered Assad a close friend and paraded Syria as the epitome of its much vaunted but now defunct “zero problems with the neighbors” policy to encourage rapprochement with Middle Eastern nations.

Trade across their 850-kilometer border blossomed tenfold, security cooperation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party — a militant Kurdish group conducting a violent separatist campaign in Turkey — flourished and mutual visa restrictions were lifted.

[...]

Then the eruption of the Arab awakening upended the stability in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and eventually Syria thereby unleashing long simmering sectarian tensions to the surface.

Read the rest of the article on CNN’s website.

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