Turan: Despite pressures and threats of Washington, simultaneously with purchase of missiles S-400, there has been set up a joint American-Turkish operative center, so the collaboration between the USA and Turkey in the north-eastern part of Syria becam a subject of discissions. Has this behavior of Ankara been forecast or spontaneous?

Cicek: Turkey"s joining it was inevitable and conditioned by current circumstances. The point is that there is a PYD-created structure in the north-east of Syria, and Turkey is categorically against it: it believes that the PYD creation is a "red line". In the meanwhile, the United States is supportive of cantons initiated by PYD in the region. Americans supplied 120, 000 militants with weapons to train them properly.

In reply, Turkey demonstrated its determination. President Erdogan noted that "if our ally fails to take necessary steps in the region, we are sure to succed in this direction". The question is that Turkey is going to create a "safe area" beyond border, and I think that if the United States fulfils its promise as was last year, then Turkey does not decline from its determination.

Turan: You seem to believe that operations will be performed even without US approval on the other side of border. What do you think, how far will stretch a "a zone of safety" deep inside on the other side of border?

Cicek: This may be 5-10 km, and 30-40 km. It depends on Turkey"s decision.

Turan: On what dynamics is Turkish decision dependent?

Cicek: For some time past Turkey has gone out of its unipolar foreign military policy to supplement a list of cooperation with Russia and China. Failing to ban cooperation with China in the military sphere, western countries failed to ban import of Russian S-400. On the one hand, Turkey discussed with the United Sates the purchase of F-35, on the other hand, it completed an agreement with Russia on S-400 deliveries. True, this is not to say that Turkey is minded to leave the NATO and discontinue cooperation with the West, and instead cooperate with Russia and China. Both the West and Eurasia matter for Turkey, so the country has skillfully been maneuvering on this extensive area to strengthen its geopolitical might. Allowing for all the factors mentioned above, it is safe to say Turkey"s displays its determination to consolidate its positions in the north-west of Syria.

Observations and analysis are indicative that Syria is minded to establish a federative or confederative state. Also, the United States is not going to give up its allies in the person of PYD / YPG in Syria. Under consideration is the creation of a structure in the north-east of Syria reminiscent of that in the north of Iraq. This is to say that doors open by Turkey to the Arab world are closed. Therefore Turkey is prone to think that a threat for country"s security from this direction is none other than open challenge. As a whole, I think that the United States is likely to support Kurds in this matter.

Turan: Under what conditions is Turkey going to win US support? What needs to be done for that?

Cicek: First of all, it"d be appropriate for the United States to withdraw PYD / YPG. What weapons will they be supplied with? How far into Syria"s depth will Turkey control the region? These are questions of paramunt importance. Note that Iran and Russia are supportive of the Turkish stand in the matter. However, the United States is not going to decline from support of PYD. It is necessary to wait for 15 days and make sure in Turkish retaliatory steps.

Turan: At present, situations in the Syrian north-eastern and north-western regions are identical, and in both regions Turkey is faced with great responsibility. How will these problems be settled?

Cicek: Russia is to annihilate some militant groups in Idlib that arrived from Russia which is naturally unwilling their return home. Most prpbably, Turkey is likely to get a part of these forces into a controlled zone "Shield of Euphrates", and then the plitical process will step up.

To my thinking, Russia-backed Syrian roops will proceed with their combat operations in the region. Turkey, as before, will oppose these actions under the pretext that "refugees are moving toward border, and this creates obstacles ". That will, in turn, be at the bottom of hostilities termination. As a consequence, cooperation within the framework of Turkey and Russia will be inevitable for resolution of the Syrian issue at international platforms. That"s why Turkey and Russia are satisfied with each other in the matter of cooperation in the region, so they will continue cooperation. Irrespective of the form of governance in future Syria, either federative or confederative, both Moscow and Ankara are in need of such cooperation.

I repeat again: it is the Syrian challenge that made possible a historically unprecedented Russian-Turkish cooperation. First ever, a NATO member-country has obtained missiles to strengthen its anti-aircraft defense system while а USSR successor - Russia as NATO"s uncompromising enemy sold weapons to a NATO member-state. The above became possible due to determination of the current Turkish leadership to have appreciably changed a balance of forces in the Near East.

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