ANTAKYA, Turkey — Turkey, a rising heavyweight in the Muslim world, has led the international campaign to oust the regime in next-door Syria. But as the fighting drags on, Turkey is complaining that the United States and others have left it abandoned on the front line of a conflict that is bleeding across its border.
With its calls for an international haven for refugees in Syria going nowhere, Turkey is rushing to shelter an influx of about 80,000 Syrians. In the east, Kurdish militants who Turkey alleges are aided by Syria are intensifying deadly attacks. And in this Alawite-heavy border region, a rest and resupply hub for the mainly Sunni Syrian rebels, worries are growing that Syria’s sectarian strife might infect Turkey.
Turkish officials stand behind their Syria policy, and the problems have posed little threat to the moderately Islamist government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan or to Turkey’s carefully cultivated popularity in the region. But as opinion polls indicate declining domestic support for the government’s stance, Turkey is finding it has limited room to manage fallout that analysts say it did not anticipate when it turned against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad last year.