by Shi Zhuying
ISTANBUL, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- The latest shelling incident in which Syrian mortar attack killed five Turkish citizens on the border triggered fierce debates on Turkey's Syrian policy. Despite escalated tension between Ankara and Damascus, solution of the ongoing Syrian crisis remains in deadlock.
Whether Turkey should re-examine its Syrian policy has become the most controversial topic among domestic politicians and analysts.
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has already called Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu " an idiot," and said that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's main problem was his "inflated ego," which he should give up at once for the sake of the nation.
Erdogan fought back, charging Kilicdaroglu to be an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a supporter of the Baath Party, because of his Alawite connections.
Some still agree with Turkey's current Syrian policy. "Turkey is taking the right position on the Syria issue," said Suat Kiniklioglu, director of a prominent Ankara-based think tank, Center for Strategic Communication (STRATIM).
"The fundamental of Turkey's Syrian policy is great. It is liberal and democratic," Kiniklioglu said.
"Assad is killing innocent people who call for democracy and freedom, Turkey could not remain indifferent to what happened in its neighboring country, I think Turkey's stance is correct," said political science professor Ihsan Yilmaz from Fatih University.
However, more and more people are not happy with Turkey's current foreign policy, especially that on Damascus. They noted that Turkey is more isolated in the region and the world, as it has abandoned "zero problem" foreign policy with its neighbors in a bid to pursue its own regional influence.
Turkey's former Foreign Minister Yasar Yakis told Xinhua that " Turkey could have sided with Syrian people and supported oppositions without breaking ties with Bashar al-Assad. Turkey shouldn't take a U-turn, end the former good relations with Syrian government and gather all resources to be against Assad all of a sudden."
"Turkey's harsh attitudes against Assad left itself no room to be flexible later," Yakis said. "Now it is impossible to resume talks with Assad's government. The negotiation road is blocked. I think this is Turkey's mistake."