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Last week Turkey's parliament authorised military action in Syria in response to Syria's deadly shelling of a Turkish town. Since then there have been more incidents of artillery exchanges and it has been widely reported that Turkey deployed additional tanks and missile defence systems to the Syrian border as artillery units responded to fire from Assad’s armed forces for a sixth day.    

I don't think that Turkey by itself will start a military campaign against Syria without the blessing of NATO and its western/regional allies. But localized military incidents - similar to the recent killing of Turkish civilians by Syrian artillery fire and the retaliation by the Turkish army - may continue along with the escalated war language and threats.

On Thursday, 4th October, in Istanbul, there was a big anti-war demo in response to Turkey’s parliament voting to authorize further military action against Syria. AKP (the government party) and MHP (the ultra nationalists party) voted 'yes' to the motion, while CHP (centrist left, secularist nationalist party) and BDP (Kurdish party) voted 'No'. The motion was passed with majority vote. This motion enables the Turkish government to use the military to attack Syria if and when it decides to do so without needing a further mandate from the parliament.

There was another protest on 5th October and possibly many more will follow in the coming days.

The common theme of these various protests are "anti-imperialism" and “anti-war”. But beyond and behind this common opposition to war, there are political differences between various groups in terms of their analysis of the Syrian revolutionary struggle and their definition of Assad regime. However, despite all these differences, majority of the people in Turkey are now openly against Turkey's military intervention in Syria and against a potential war by western powers and Turkey.

Assad may trigger further incidents to test the nerves of the Turkish government and use the threat of war for his own propaganda to rally his supporters. Despite all that, we must oppose any military intervention in Syria. A united anti-war front in Turkey can stop the war agenda and the further build-up of military operations in the region. For any potential military intervention, Turkey needs the wider NATO support and similarly, NATO needs Turkey. That's why the popular and widespread anti-war campaign in Turkey is very important and critical.

In Ireland we must demand the Irish government to engage with the Turkish government and raise its opposition to any military campaign.

There are many reasons why we must oppose an intervention in Syria.

1. A military intervention will hijack the ongoing revolutionary struggle in Syria. It will drown the revolution.

2. Military intervention may ultimately get rid of Assad, but it could also help his "being anti-imperialist" propaganda, thus enabling him to play the victim in rallying support against his “internal and external enemies”. Assad regime is not anti-imperialist. He is using the anti-imperialism card while butchering his own people.

3. It is not up to the outside/imperialist powers (regional/western powers and Russia etc.) to decide on and dictate the future of Syrian people. A military intervention and war will be a disaster for Syrian people. We witness the ongoing disasters of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

4. We must support the Syrian refugees and stand in solidarity with them. A war will only cause many more thousands of refugees as a consequence of civilian deaths and the complete destruction of their country.

5. None of the war supporters are really interested in ultimate well-being of Syrian people. They were/are - one way or the other - in support of dictators in many countries around the world, and they defended oppressive regimes until the very last possible moment. A defeat of Assad by popular uprising, as another phase in the Arab Spring will scare these arms selling imperialist states both in the west and in the region. That's why a defeat of Assad's regime is a political defeat for the imperialists. They can't do with Assad anymore, and they can't do with a revolution in Syria. And it seems that they can't easily hijack the process in Syria either.

6. The emerging contradictions and clashes between imperialist powers and local dictators are not the fights and wars of ordinary people. Their fight in Syria is against the regime. Their fight is about self determination and a social/economic change.

7. NATO is not a humanitarian intervention system. It is a war machine and it has no moral, historical, humanitarian mandate to bring "peace" and "freedom" to "others". A F16 fighter plane drops bombs, not medical supplies.

8. We must stand in solidarity with the Syrian revolutionaries in their fight against the dictatorial/oppressive Assad regime; however much the struggle in Syria is complicated. An intervention in Syria may well get rid of the man – Assad - but it may/will end up implanting just another one.

9. The struggle in Syria is very complicated and difficult. People die every day and there are outside interventions/involvements in various forms and shapes. There are different groups fighting against the regime and together, they are progressing the campaign. They seem to be the masters of their own lives and their fight against the regime. They are so far in control of their own destiny. They have a significant chance to succeed in overthrowing the regime. Assad cannot continue forever to kill his way out of this situation. His army generals are deserting him. He has not achieved sectarianism/inter-fighting among his opponents. He cannot convince the Syrian people that the fighters against him are terrorists and agents of Syrian's enemies. So far all this barrage of propaganda has not worked for him. And his continuous killing of civilians brings more anger to his opponents and a stronger will to fight against the regime.

Syrian uprising is a popular revolt
No to dictator and no to intervention in Syria!

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