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No more, Mr Nice Guy: Turkey readies Syria sanctions

No more, Mr Nice Guy: Turkey readies Syria sanctions

Despite earlier resistance, Turkey prepares to put sanctions on Syria, possibly affecting the military, banking and energy sectors. Erdogan says "sooner or later" Assad will go.

September 28, 2011 2:38 by

…partnerships of Syrian businessmen who support the leadership.

The waiving of visas allowed closer economic interaction and tourism to flourish, but analysts say many Syrian businessmen opened accounts in Turkey to keep funds safe across the border.

“It is believed that some business groups that support the regime have interests in Turkey. Measures may be taken against these,” Ulutas said.

To avoid inflicting hardship on the Syrian people, Turkey has ruled out measures such as cutting the sale of electricity to Syria or reducing the amount of water it lets through to the country on the Euphrates River.

The Syrian crisis has pushed Turkey and Washington into closer cooperation but Erdogan’s criticism of Assad irked Iran.

Huseyin Bagci, an international relations expert at Ankara’s Middle East Technical University, sees Turkey paying a price both for its shift on Syria and for hosting the NATO shield.

“Iran, Russia and China still back Syria. Turkey is risking facing opposition from all these countries by its attitude against Syria,” he said. “Turkey-Syria ties are back to square one, back to the times of insecurity. Turkey stands to lose.” (By Tulay Karadeniz and Ibon Villelabeitia; Writing by Ibon Villelabeitia; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

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