Why do Social Democrats do what they do?

December 15, 2015

The Turkish govt. wants parts of Iraq and Syria incorporated into Turkey - the Ottoman empire restorationist folly

Turkey's Imperial Motive In Attacking Syria And Iraq 
December 09, 2015
http://www.moonofalabama.org/


Turkey's attack on Syria and Iraq and its support for Islamists in those countries and elsewhere is often described as religiously motivated. But that is only a part of the story. The real-political side is an imperialist effort to expand Turkey into the space of the former Ottoman empire.

A former head of Israel’s National Security Council Giora Eiland writes in The Guardian:

About a year before that meeting with the Russian, I met a senior Turkish official. That was at a time when relations between Jerusalem and Ankara were excellent. At that meeting, the Turkish official spoke openly about his country’s world view. “We know that we cannot get back the lands that were under the control of the Ottoman empire before 1917,” he said, “but do not make the mistake of thinking that the borders that were dictated to us at the end of the first world war by the victorious countries – mainly the UK and France – are acceptable to us. Turkey will find a way to return to its natural borders in the south – the line between Mosul in Iraq and Homs in Syria. That is our natural aspiration and it is justified because of the large Turkmen presence in that region.”

A U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency assessment in 2012 provided:

OPPOSITION FORCES ARE TRYING TO CONTROL THE EASTERN AREAS (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), ADJACENT TO THE WESTERN IRAQI PROVINCES (MOSUL AND ANBAR), IN ADDITION TO NEIGHBORING TURKISH BORDERS. WESTERN COUNTRIES, THE GULF STATES AND TURKEY ARE SUPPORTING THESE EFFORTS. 
...
THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT 
...
ISI COULD ALSO DECLARE AN ISLAMIC STATE THROUGH ITS UNION WITH OTHER TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS IN IRAQ AND SYRIA, WHICH WILL CREATE GRAVE DANGER IN REGARDS TO UNIFYING IRAQ AND THE PROTECTION OF ITS TERRITORY.

The former Turkish military adviser Metin Gurcan in AL-Monitor analyzes the aims of the Turkish invasion of Iraq:

Ankara — which realizes each player in Syria and Iraq is setting up its own “boutique power base” — feels a best-case scenario for Turkey will be:
To allow emergence of the Mosul-based "Sunnistan Autonomous Administration," which is loosely linked to Baghdad, as Baghdad's central authority is waning by the day.
To enable cooperation between the KRG and the Sunni bodies in Syria, and the "Iraqi Sunnistan" under the security umbrella of the Turkish military.
For Turkey to become the regional sponsor of this new three-entity structure.

Some U.S. circles like the plan. John Bolton recently wrote an NYT op-ed To Defeat ISIS, Create a Sunni State which endorses the deconstruction of Iraq.

I posted a link to the above piece with the "Sunnistan Autonomous Administration" line on Twitter and added:

Moon of Alabama @MoonofA
@MoonofA #pt Turkey IMHO wants even more: "Annex Mosul and seize the northern Iraqi oil fields".
http://www.moonofalabama.org/2015/12/erdogan-moves-to-annexes-mosul.html
There followed this little exchange:

Erdal ? ? ? ? - F16 @CccErdal
@MoonofA Mosul has always been Turkish land until the beginning of the 20th century. They are just taking what is theirs.
Moon of Alabama @MoonofA
@CccErdal Mosul is as much "Turkish land" as India is "British land".
Erdal ? ? ? ? - F16 @CccErdal
@MoonofA Turks will bring peace and prosperity to the Middle East after British/French destroyed/colonized it in ww1.

I have no idea who CccErdal is but his profile picture is full of "Türk" whatever flags. (photo)

All the above is just to show that Turkey under Erdogan has a neo-Ottoman expansionist view. It wants parts of Iraq and Syria incorporated into Turkey. This view is popular in the ethnic Turk parts of Turkey. Erdogan is getting some support - or at least little resistance - from his NATO allies in pursuing this aim.

The overall Turkish plan is to re-establish the Ottoman administrative units or vilayets of Aleppo, Diyarbekir in its southern extend to the Euphrates and Mosul. These areas include large oil and gas fields in Syria and north Iraq. The Russian intervention in Syria frustrates the Aleppo plan. The temporary U.S. alliance with the YPK Kurds in Syria hinders the southern extension of Diyarbekir to the Euphrates. A serious move on Mosul started last weekend and has not yet been challenged by force. If diplomatic pressure fails to dislodge the Turks from the area Iraqi militia will attack the new Turkish positions near Mosul.

Turkey's plans are illegal under international law and under the charter of the United Nations. Moreover they do not respect the will of the people living in those areas. Are we to believe that Christians, Alawites and Yezidis, Kurds and Arabs in Syria and Iraq crave for being again ruled by ethnocentric Turks? The "Turkmen brethren" in Iraq and Syria which Ankara provides as justification for its moves are after all just a tiny minority.

But the Turkish expansion plans are serious and have wide support in Turkey's nationalist and Islamist circles. Turks, like other people, can be ruthless and brutal in such endeavors:

One of the two [Russian] pilots was captured by the pro-Turkish forces, killed and mutilated by the rebels. Pieces of the body, extremities and face, were taken away.

Erdogan is willing to risk a lot, including a wider war, to pursue his neo-Ottoman dreams. Blackmailing Europe and Iraq and challenging Russia in Crimea and Chechnya through insertion of Turkish "Grey Wolf" fascist and "Tatar" are only minor measures. We can expect a lot more fool play and carnage before the Turks finally have to acknowledge that their expansionist plans will fail.

Posted by b at 04:24 AM 

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