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In new power projection, Turkey launching banking services in Syria

Despite the continuing violence in Syria, Turkey is set to begin postal, logistics and banking services in zones in northeast Syria that have recently been cleared of Daesh terrorists. (AFP infographic)
ANKARA: Turkey is set to open post office branches in northeast Syria in zones recently cleared of Daesh terrorists.
Postal, logistics and banking services will begin in the towns of Al-Bab and Al-Rai in Aleppo province once Turkey’s national postal authority, the PTT, opens branches.
Last month, the PTT launched a branch in the Syrian city of Jarabulus, across the border from the Turkish province of Gaziantep.
Mete Sohtaoglu, an Istanbul-based researcher on Middle East politics, said opening PTT branches in northern Syria is a public diplomacy initiative.
“It amounts to easing payments of salaries of Turkish Army officers, providing Syrian refugees with humanitarian assistance and launching cargo services to the region,” he told Arab News.
Sohtaoglu said the branches will also facilitate international financing directly to the region, and banking services.
Omar Kadkoy, a researcher on refugee integration at Ankara-based think tank TEPAV, said Turkey’s power projection in Syria is shifting from military to governance.
“The latter started with basic infrastructure, such as rebuilding schools and opening hospitals for displaced Syrians,” he told Arab News.
“Today, Turkey is offering a more complex layer of governance via postal, logistics and banking services.”
These services will revitalize the local economy by facilitating remittances, trade, and access to microloans to establish businesses, Kadkoy said. “This way, the lives of Syrians will return gradually to normality and prosperity.”

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