What Is Turkey’s Aspirations?

Now that ISIS has been handed their butts Turkey has expanded their use of force in Syria and Iraq….most of the violence is aimed squarely at the Kurds in the region.

Understandable since Turkey has had a hard on for the Kurds in the region for several decades…..but beneath the obvious I have seen some opinions that Turkey is trying to bring back their glory days of the Ottoman Empire and their attacks on the Kurds is to remove any opposition that might interfere with their plans.

A European think tank, Geopolitical Futures has issued a paper on Turkey’s Middle East aspirations…..

The central question in Turkey’s invasion of Afrin has been whether it is a limited operation that will stop in northwestern Syria, or the first stage of what will become deeper Turkish involvement in the Middle East. Given that Turkey is intent on clearing the threat from its border, and that Kurdish forces extend far beyond the northwestern enclave of Afrin, there’s little reason to think that Turkey will stop after subduing Afrin.

There is, however, another threat that is forcing Turkey to take foreign military action: Iran. One of Turkey’s greatest historical adversaries, Iran has emerged from the Syria conflict in a relatively powerful position. One aspect of its qualified success has been the ability of the Bashar Assad regime, with Iran’s backing, to hold onto power and reconquer much of the territory it had lost in the civil war. Turkey sees a pro-Iran, Assad-led Syria on its border as a direct threat, which is why it looked the other way earlier in the war when Islamic State recruits crossed the border from Turkey to fight Assad.


Keep in mind that Turkey is also attacking the Kurds in Iraq…..now this is a NATO country, Turkey, and their violence against another country is a violation that could force the rest of NATO into a conflict they may not want.

All this brings into being a new term….Neo-Ottomanism

Neo-Ottomanism has been used to describe Turkish foreign policy under the Justice and Development Party which took power in 2002 under Erdoğan, who subsequently became Prime Minister. Neo-Ottomanism is a dramatic shift from the traditional Turkish foreign policy of the Kemalist ideology, which emphasized looking westward towards Europe with the goal of avoiding the instability and sectarianism of the Middle East. The shift away from this concept in Turkish foreign policy under Turgut Özal‘s government has been described as the first step towards neo-Ottomanism

The Ottoman Empire was an influential global power which, at its peak, controlled the Balkans, most of the modern-day Middle East, most of coastal North Africa (at least nominally), and the Caucasus. Neo-Ottomanist foreign policy encourages increased engagement in these regions as part of Turkey’s growing regional influence.


With some analysis one can see the possibility that Turkey is trying to relive the glory days of the Ottomans……slowly but steady……this will not benefit the world.

14 thoughts on “What Is Turkey’s Aspirations?

  1. The west was happy to use the Kurdish militias to help defeat ISIS. Then turned their back on them after that, leaving them to be wiped out by Turkey. Seems to me that NATO is allowing Turkey to simply remove another group who might turn out to be a problem later. We had some British volunteers fighting with the Peshmerga against ISIS. They are now stuck in Syria, having to fight Turks instead. One woman was killed two days ago, by Turkish artillery fire.
    Best wishes, Pete.

      1. I knew about these statistics. Not much point taxing The Queen, as the government would end up increasing her ‘salary’ to pay the tax. The Duke of Westminster and The Ministry of Defence are two of the largest landowners, along with The Church of England of course. Church taxes are different, as they register as a charity, and the MOD is government owned, so would not pay. Just leaves The Duke, and his fellow aristocrats to foot the bill. 🙂

      2. Churches here get away with murder they are automatically tax free…something I find distasteful since they involve themselves in politics…..chuq

      3. John has moved again he has gone to Facebook and since I have never been a member I will not start now…maybe he will return….chuq

  2. Of course neo Ottoman. Then neo Persia, neo Soviet Union, neo Egypt neo China Empire. US policy makers have no sense of history. They see the moment but the national consciousness or cooperate identity of nations living in the shadow of past greatness is alive in the national memories of these nations. So are past resentments. Radical Islam is giving post colonial and post imperial Europe a long deserved repay of domination and violence and counter invasion through refugee resettlement. I read the Swedes have lost their country. Their immigrant population now exceeds their native born population. The problem compounds in that the immigrants don’t become Swedes by assimilation as foreigners allegedly have become Americans in the United States. Actually it is now impossible to define who or what is American any more. US policy makers don’t have a clue that the past is a part of the present for these people.

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