Since the meeting between the Syrian Chief of Intelligence, Ali Mamlouk and his Turkish counterpart, Hakan Fidan with a Russian sponsorship in Moscow a week ago, there has been increasing talk about the possibility of the return of the official relations between Damascus and Ankara, since this relationship was cut in 2012, following Turkey's demand to drop the rule of President Bashar al-Assad and its support for the armed opposition in order to achieve this goal, and everyone can remember the red lines which Erdogan raised and the deadlines he gave to Assad to leave, but it has been proven that, the winds blow counter to what Erdogan's ships desire, who started changing his priorities, as he no longer demanded the departure of Assad, and in practice, he had no goal in Syria except fighting the Kurdish component under the pretext of fighting terrorism, where he went to make deals with both the Russians and the Americans in achieving this goal, as it happened during his aggression on Afrin and on Sere-Kaniye (Ras al-Ain), when he launched the (Olive Branch) and (Peace Spring) operations.
In the history of the modern Syrian-Turkish relationship, there were moments where the war was on the doors before it turned into settlements, as it happened in 1998 during the crisis known as the Ocalan Crisis, when Turkey mobilized its forces on the borders and threatened with a military action unless Damascus expel or hand over the leader of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), Abdullah Ocalan, who was on its territories, as Ocalan was arrested in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, and the crisis between the two sides was settled by reaching Adana Agreement - which is being talked about these days - as an entry point to rearrange the relationship between Damascus and Ankara. At that time, many countries entered the line of the crisis settlement, most notably were Egypt and Iran, as this settlement constituted an entry point for increasing the Turkish influence in Syria later.
Today, with the developments which are taking place in the Syrian crisis, the arrival of the Turkish policy in Syria into a dead end and the big role which is being played by Russia on the Damascus-Ankara line, there are those who believe the settlement scenario between the two sides can be repeated despite the big role which Turkey played in committing massacres against the Syrian people. Perhaps what drives those to this belief, is a number of factors and reasons, the most important are:
1- Both sides agreed to limit, if we don't say to put an end to the Autonomous Administration in northeastern Syria, especially since this matter constituted a Turkish priority over the past years, as Turkey launched three military operations (Euphrates Shield - Olive Branch – Peace Spring) to achieve this goal, the constant thing here is that the main aspect of Adana Agreement relates to how to coordinate on fighting the influence of the PKK, as Damascus shows its willingness to return to the activation of the agreement, while Turkey is trying to amend the formula of the agreement in order to obtain better conditions and benefits, especially in terms of controlling northern Syrian and the military invasion under the pretext of fighting terrorism.
2- Russia is putting its political weight to restore the official relations between the two sides, where it has sponsored a number of meetings between officials from both sides. In doing this, Russia wants to achieve a number of strategic goals, perhaps the most important of which is the elimination of the influence of the armed opposition groups which have become almost besieged in Idlib governorate, and the formation of a Russian-Turkish-Syrian front in the face of the challenge of the East of Euphrates under the U.S. influence. Perhaps what facilitates Putin's mission here, is his distinguished relationship with both Assad and Erdogan, and his ability through this relationship to engineer the course of the Syrian crisis, this matter has been evident since the improvement of the Russian-Turkish relationship after the reconciliation which took place between them following Turkey's shooting down of the Russian warplane. Then, launching Astana track, in addition to Sochi Agreement, leading to the launch of military invasions Olive Branch and Peace Spring operations with the Russian approval or understanding, as the Syrian army benefited a lot from Operation Peace Spring, as it was an entry point for its deployment in the areas of East of Euphrates after it was under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the U.S. influence.
3- In face of the intersection of the interests between Damascus and Ankara with the Russian sponsorship, Erdogan may find no obstacle to say: "God forgives what happened,” stops his support for the armed groups in Idlib and bargains on them in exchange for a supporting Russian stance for Erdogan in the Libyan crisis, where the transportation of the Syrian militants and mercenaries from there to Libya is in full swing. Erdogan's speech addressing these groups and the Syrian National Coalition was remarkable when he announced a few days ago that the political solutions had failed regarding Idlib and the armed groups should defend themselves, in a strong indication that he abandoned these armed groups, or more accurately, pushed them to get involved in his project in Libya.
4- On his way to restore the relationship with Damascus, Erdogan won't find any opposition to his endeavor inside Turkey, on the contrary, he may find great welcome from the Turkish opposition parties which opposed Erdogan's policies regarding the Syrian crisis, and called to restore the official relations with Damascus a long time ago in order to get rid of the burdens of the Syrian refugees by returning them to their country.
5- On the other hand, the Syrian officials have announced their willingness to restore the relationship with Turkey more than once as long as it withdraws from the Syrian territories and stops its support for the armed opposition groups. Perhaps Damascus sees its interest in the openness to the outside in light of the siege imposed on it.
6- There are major economic interests that may push the two sides to restore the relations gradually, such an issue becomes urgent in light of the economic crisis in the two countries, especially in light of the collapse of both the Syrian and Turkish liras against the dollar, where the geography between the two countries carries with it significant commercial, economic, agricultural, water and industrial interests, as it was in the past where the Syrian territories were a crossing for the Turkish commercial convoys and for the movement of the Turkish truck transit into the Arab world.
Indeed, some may see that it is difficulty, if not impossible to resume the official relations between Damascus and Ankara after all what happened, but the constant here, which must be well known is Erdogan doesn't think in this way, but rather he thinks first and foremost in the interests of his country, his rule and his agenda, as the man is known for his ability to hold alliances and then to turn against them, and vice versa. He previously reconciled with Putin and they became close allies after he used to describe him as the killer of the Syrian people. He also launched one attack after the other against the Iranian leadership because of its policy in Syria, where he used to describe it as the government which implements the Safavid Shiite policy in the region, before understandings with Iran and standing with it regionally, coordinating with it in Astana and on the ground in Syria and Iraq. So, when Erdogan sees the restoration of the relationship with Damascus in the interest of his country and his rule amid the flare-up of the crises in the region, he won't hesitate to reconcile with his former friend Bashar Al-Assad, as Erdogan is adept at coups even if he was against himself for Erdogan II then the III.