The chances of a war erupting between Turkey and Syria appear to be rising. But the heated rhetoric of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s government does not seem to be matched by public enthusiasm for conflict.
The escalation in tension follows an incident October 3, when Syrian shelling killed two women and three children in the Turkish border town of Akcakale. The Turkish parliament responded on October 4 with a motion sanctioning military intervention into “foreign countries.” In the days since, Turkish artillery has been returning fire at the Syrian army.
“We have retaliated [for Syrian shelling] and if it continues, we'll respond more strongly," Turkish media outlets have quoted the armed forces chief of staff, Gen. Necdet Ozel, as saying.
While the Turkish Foreign Ministry has warned that “enough is enough,” opinion polls suggest a hardening and ever-increasing majority of Turks oppose armed intervention in the Syrian conflict.
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Dorian Jones is a freelance reporter based in Istanbul.