You are following the developments in Syria very closely. What is happening in Syria?
- I think Putin was analyzing this point which has been reached after a long time. There is no such example in history: No country has ever been attacked by 100 countries. What do I mean by 100 countries? As you know, there were groups called “friends of Syria” in Istanbul and elsewhere. The 100 countries participating there used to say that they would destroy Syria. Since four years and a half, they began to support groups fighting against government forces, thinking, “Assad would step down after a week or a month”. But Assad did not give up. He resisted. Saying “Assad showed resistance” would be wrong. The ones who resisted were the Syrian army and civil defense units. They said Assad is an Alawite, while the overwhelming majority of Syria’s population is Sunnis. So they thought Assad would be toppled. They thought so based on the fact that 90 percent of the army was Sunnis. These words proved wrong. Secondly, they said, “Assad is a dictator, the people despise him, may Allah strike him, the people are going to overthrow him”. These expectations all proved wrong too. Thirdly, the following reality came up of Assad and the Syrian people: Syria is a historic center. None of those seeking to tear apart Syria saw this reality.
Syria has a written history dating back to 3 to 4 millennia ago. All written cultures originated form Syria. All religions grew out from Syria. Paul started to preach Christianity from Damascus. Mohammed’s prophecy first became known in Damascus when he was 12 years old. The Aramaic-speaking village of Jesus is still there, about 40km from Damascus. Anyone who thinks a country with all these cultures would be defeated by underdeveloped Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, falls short of mind. Putin waited for four and a half years and always warned the West and the Arabs. Let me give you the ugliest example: Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief, Bandar bin Sultan, offered Putin 30 billion dollars in Sochi in 2014, saying, “Take it and give up on Assad”. Knowing this, it becomes clear how patient Putin is.
- The foreign minister also about two months ago under the pretext of "direct investments" offered Moscow $50 billion.
- Intelligence chief offered money directly, but the foreign minister’s case is somewhat different. That minister is also a blockhead. While waiting patiently, Russia provided Assad with weapons and ammunition, supported his defense. However, the Syrian people and army to a certain extent have power to resist. The country fought with 100 states, lost 50 000 soldiers and 50 000 volunteer military, thus its power decreased. Russia provided assistance when the Syrian government was about to collapse. 15,000 terrorists from the North Caucasus are fighting there, let’s think that they will return to Russia tomorrow. Russia thought about it, I believe that Azerbaijan is also thinking about it. It is a threat to Russia and the Caucasus. I don’t believe that Russia will leave Syria unless it neutralizes terrorist groups there. Russia will stay there until neutralizing either moderate or radical groups. Russia won’t withdraw unless it decreases the risk of terror in Syria. Weapons sent by Russia include most modern aircraft, helicopters, tanks, missiles and missile defense systems. The defense system in Latakia showed that the preparations have been made for a long time. Russia took the risk of any kind into account, even third world war. It won’t leave Syria until it eradicates terrorism there.
- Iran has not allowed "Islamic State" terrorist group to approach its borders while unconditionally supported Syria…
- Iran is obliged to do so. Along with Russia, Iran has also a duty of loyalty to Syria. Syria has had close ties with the Soviet Union and then with Russia since 1958. Syria has not acted as Egypt, not betrayed, despite everything it has maintained a friendship with Russia. If I am not mistaken, it’s the words of Putin “Whom Syria is fighting with?” It is fighting with blockhead Chechens from the Caucasus and other terrorists. Therefore, we should support him. The Arab world supported Saddam during Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), only Hafez al-Assad supported Iran. But for Hafez al-Assad’s support to Iran, the Persian-Arab and Shiite-Sunni wars would have occurred. As an Alawite Arab, Assad’s supporting Iran created balance in the war. Some Arab leaders supported Assad. Thanks to this support, Iran could resist for 8 years. As Khomeini stated “Iran will support Syria forever.” Khamenei also made such a statement. “Iran didn’t send troops and weapons to Syria directly, such claims are not true. Iran sent arms to Syria trough Hezbollah and said them to fight within Syrian army. Hezbollah is also an enemy of Salafi terrorists as Assad. They are also being threatened of being cut off. Iran supported Assad through Hezbollah and won’t give it up.”
- You put special emphasis on Syria’s geographical location. During Turkey’s war of independence, Mustafa Kamal managed to defeat the Great Powers by uniting the forces of Anatolia and the Levant. From 2000 to 2010, there were constantly warming relations between Ankara and Damascus. But what were the reasons these relations worsened to such an extent beginning in March 2011?
- There are two reasons. The first is the external reason. We often say the current government is a project. We don’t know that. We can’t read the minds of others. I’m not sure whether the processes are part of a project. But I can say to you that a lot of evidence has emerged. Muslims brotherhood leaders, imams, and sheikhs in the Middle East are all short of mind. I’m well familiar with their leaders and organizations. Their brains work to some extent. But when the “Allah” and “the Prophet” talks come, they begin to speak foolishly. There are realities associated with the subjects. Sayyid Qutb wrote in the 1950s. Are the subject-related conditions of the 1950s and 2015 are equal? No, they’re not. When religion becomes a factor, they start dreaming. As they stay in religious frame, they are unable to see things. Do you think the US would ever give you this region? The Wahhabi denomination was created in Saudi Arabia in order to get rid of the Ottomans. Behind the opinion “The Arabs betrayed the Ottomans” stands the former king of Jordan. Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan have deceived Turkey throughout history and will again do so. Everyone will see that. They get mad at us when it’s said to them.
- Earlier, Bashar al-Assad made such a statement: “What is happening to us is likely to recur in some former Soviet countries.” What do you think about it?
- Before these events, current foreign minister of Saudi Arabia said: “We have granted $120 billion to Muslim countries and their institutions for 40 years. Not think about it: these people, for 40 years, have given funds to some circles in Azerbaijan, some foundations in Kazakhstan, and some organizations in the North Caucasus. Why? They want to spread Salafism, Wahhabism there. They try to spread Wahhabism in a silly way divorcing Islam from its true content. Remember the Chechen war. I went there many times at that time. Even after the first war, there were good relations with Moscow. Even an agreement was reached on giving independence to Chechens within 5 years. A man named Khattab form Saudi Arabia deceived Maskhadov and caused uproar. I was there at that time. Now are there any Chechens? You are reaching out to everywhere, where Islam dominates. They established Taliban, al-Qaeda, ISIL. All terrorists fighting against government in Syria are funded by Saudi Arabia. They are the enemy of Islam. If you go to Mecca, you will see there is nothing holy except Kaaba. There are neither houses nor shops of the Prophet and his descendants. You can see from the photos in what state Kaaba is. These people are enemies of religion. There is no sign of Islamic history in Mecca. They are mentally ill. You will follow these people on "jihad path". Which people? How can such bribed, mentally ill and women seeking men be followed? It is a pity that Turkey, which has a 90-year history of republic being modernized and non-comparably developed more than the Middle East, has warm relationship with those who support these steps.