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Major Changes for Syria and Turkey

In the context of Obama's recent decision to change his strategy in Syria by helping local troops to fight against ISIS, Turkey elections's outcomes will have a key role to play.


People walk through Aleppo following an airstrike.

WASHINGTON/ANKARA — US president Obama changed his strategy on Syria, when he announced that a small number of U.S. special operations forces will be sent to northern Syria to work with local troops in the fight against Islamic State militants. This can mean a radical change for the region as it marks the first time Americans will be deployed openly on the ground in the country.

In addition it seems like Russia and US and regional powers like Iran are finally talking about a joint solution on how to free the region of the terror regime lead be Isis. They are  discussing Syria’s future in Vienna, while Syrian regime and opposition are not invited. All parties are looking for a new solution. Especially Saudi Arabia is excluding Assad from any future solution categorically. This talks could play a key role in finding stability for the region, ending the refugee crisis and a chance to rebuild the country.

The outcome of todays election in Turkey is crucial, as the support of Turkey is essential.

Supporters of Justice and Development Party (AKP) celebrate after hearing the early results of the general elections in front of the party’s office in Istanbul. The results are a huge boost for the party’s founder President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

In this context Turkey is one of the key-players, therefore todays election can point into both direction. Either all the major parties will find a peaceful solution for the conflict and fight forces like Isis together, or the war and Isis will take over to Turkey. This could be especially the case, if Turkey does not stop fighting the Kurds, who make for now the most effective stand against Isis.

Therefor Erdogan and who ever will be the new premiere minister of Turkey will have to find peace with the Kurdish people. But, at the moment the prospects look bleak as Turkey’s AK Party appeared to be closing in on its goal of recovering a single-party majority and governing alone, partial general elections results show, in what would be a major turnaround for embattled President Tayyip Erdogan. With around two thirds of the votes counted, the AKP was on 52 percent, according to state-run broadcaster TRT, higher than many party officials had expected. The main opposition CHP was at 22.5 percent.

If Erdogan’s AK Party will the ruling party Turkey most likely must adapt to large incisions in freedom of expression, women- and gay-rights as well as secularity. Also it seems unlikely that Erdogan will stop the attacks on Kurdish positions in the near future in contrast, it is more likely for him to aggravate them.

In strengthening Erdogan, whose crackdowns on media freedoms and tightening grip on the judiciary have alarmed European leaders, the outcome is likely to mean relations with the West will remain strained.Erdogan and the AKP have been a fierce critics, for example, of U.S. support for Kurdish militia fighters battling Islamic State (IS) in neighbouring Syria.

"This (result) makes more difficult a strategy of using the Kurds against IS because AKP appeals to anti-Kurd sentiments," said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst and sometime policy advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama.

More information about the election in Turkey and the possible consequences can be read here: Reuters

Istanbul United - Official Trailer

Watch the Trailer of 'Istanbul United'.

On the occasion of the election in Turkey the Cinema for Peace Foundation is hosting a screening of the film ‘Istanbul United’ followed by a podium discussion on the prospects in Turkey. We cordially invite you to join us. Please follow this link to reserve your ticket: Link

a documentary by Farid Eslam and Oliver Waldhauer
Czech Republic | Switzerland | Germany | Turkey I 2014 I OV w/ eng sub I 84 min
When: November 2th, 19.00
Where: ACUDkino, Veteranenstraße 21, 10119 Berlin
Donation based admission.

followed by an expert discussion on democracy, freedom of speech and the current political situation in Turkey with special guests including director Oliver Waldhauer and producer Tanja Georgieva.