In an interview with Sputnik, Ismail Hakki Pekin, former head of the intelligence unit of the Chief of Staff of the Turkish army, said that he took part in five behind-the-scenes meetings with representatives of the Syrian intelligence services. He did not conduct formal talks, but instead served as a mediator between Turkey and Syria."I took part in five meetings involving representatives of Turkey and Syria. We held the talks to assess the situation in general and determine whether bilateral relations could be restored," he said. "Much in the same way that Turkey held negotiations with Russia."
Two of the meetings took place in 2015 and three were held this year, he added.
"At that time we had no information regarding any official talks between Ankara and Damascus. If they took place, [President Bashar al-Assad] or someone from the Syrian intelligence services would have told us."Why would he think that he would be informed of official talks? That's his opinion, might be accurate, might not be. What's most important is that Syria and Turkey were holding talks equal to those held between Russia and Turkey
The informal meetings primarily revolved around the situation in Syria at the time and security measures, he added.
Related to:"We talked to representatives of the Syrian intelligence services. They told us about what was happening in Syria, about the prospects of restoring relations between Turkey and Syria, about working on a joint security concept. We discussed possible steps that Ankara and Damascus could take towards each other," he explained.