In an interview with the website of the Strategic Council on Foreign Relations, Rasoul Alipour referred to the explosion in Taksim Square in Istanbul, which resulted in the death and injury of dozens of people, and stated: At the beginning of the explosion, the Turkish government, through the Supreme Council for the Supervision over Radio and Television announced a ban on the coverage and broadcast of the details of the incident for the country’s media so that speculations in this regard will not be taken through the media and social networks and the news on its details will be announced through the government channel.
While explaining the process of announcing the details of the terrorist incident by the Turkish government and the positions of the opposition parties, regarding the causes of the incident, he said: Although it was said that the agent involved in the bombing and several people were arrested, not much information has been published by government channels. However, the causes of the incident can be analyzed in the same short sentences of the Turkish officials; including the interior minister of Turkey who, after the expression of sympathy and condolences by the United States, showed a strong reaction and by pointing the finger of accusation towards the US, said: The killer always arrives at the scene of the murder before others; in the sense that the US immediately expresses its condolences!
The expert on Turkey affairs continued: Turkish authorities had hinted that those involved were in “Kobani” or “Ayn al-Arab” in Syria, and the one involved in the bombing was a member of the Syrian branch of the PKK and one of the separatist Kurdish armed groups that Turkey considers them as terrorists and at the same time they are present in the areas bordering Turkey and Syria under the support of the United States. Turkey has previously criticized and said: The United States sends the weapons that it does not provide us with money to the Kurdish armed groups in the northeast of Syria and makes the borders as well as inside the country insecure.”
Saying that Ankara claims that those terrorist groups are seeking the division of Syria, and considering the Kurdish problem, are considered as a serious threat to Turkey, called a look at the recent policies of the Turkish government towards the countries of the region necessary to clarify the causes of the terrorist incident and explained: Turkey has faced economic challenges in the past one or two years, and its tourist revenues have decreased sharply due to the outbreak of Coronavirus and the war in Ukraine, tensions with neighbors and capital outflows have also caused devaluation of the lira, reduction of people’s purchasing power and increase in dissatisfaction with the government.
He added: Considering that in June 2023, the parliamentary and presidential elections are ahead, Erdogan tried to put aside the differences with the countries of the region, including Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt, and by attracting capital, got rid of such economic problems. In the past one or two months, it was said that the Turkish and Syrian intelligence ministers had meetings. In order to get out of the refugee problem and other issues related to Syria, including the fight against armed Kurdish groups supported by the US, Erdogan decided to directly engage with the Syrian government.
Alipour said: This situation caused displeasure of the United States; because that country benefits from the emergence of crisis and its continuation in the region and the armed Kurds are also worried about direct contact between Turkey and Syria. The terrorist act was carried out under such circumstances. In addition, two days before the incident, the leader of the “Watan” Party of Turkey announced that they are going to travel to Syria with the leader of the “Kurdish” Party of Turkey at the invitation of Bashar al-Assad. This was an important development and a prelude to meetings at higher levels.
The expert on Turkey affairs stated that Ankara knows the meaning of that explosion in the west of Istanbul, and noted: The discomfort of the Turkish statesmen is that whenever they want to solve their problems and those of the region with the regional countries, the United States as its ally tries to sacrifice it. Such actions are unprecedented. The United States uses Turkey as a tool in the region, and when Ankara leaves that area and wants to show its independent will, it intervenes and deals a blow on it.
Referring to Turkey’s efforts to get out of internal and regional problems and exerting pressure on the US and the European Union with various means, including sanctions, he reminded: Considering the importance of elections for Erdogan, he does not want to enter into a serious confrontation with the United States. However, Ankara, understanding the US anti-Turkish actions in the region, is aware that in order to get out of the border threats, the main cause of which are NATO-backed terrorists, it must sit at the negotiating table with the Syrian government and tries to continue this path for regional convergence; because it knows that it cannot place hope on the United States.
Alipour continued: Although some parties may benefit from the terrorist incident, those issues are not accepted by any country, however, it seems that until the elections in Turkey, we will be witness to an increase in verbal and military tensions with countries like Greece. Such tensions occur before the elections; in June 2015, when none of the parties reached the majority in the elections, several terrorist incidents occurred in that country until the elections were held again in November.
According to the analyst of Turkey affairs, it seems that despite the election conditions, the existence of the Kurds problem, and the sensitivity and threats that exist on the borders regarding Erdogan’s re-appearance in the presidency, the recurrence of such incidents is not out of mind. Experience has shown that according to the coalition of Erdoğan’s party with the nationalists, in the end, those incidents will enable him to create a national coalition and advance the situation in such a way that the votes of the “coalition of the Republic “will increase.