Erdogan's Ottoman Dream

President Erdogan of Turkey makes no secret of his vision for the future of Turkey. He would like to reestablish Ottoman glory with himself as caliph.

President Erdogan surrounded by historical Ottoman era soldiers

Late in 2017 Turkey entered into an agreement with the Bashir government of Sudan to lease Suakin Island. Publicly, the purpose of the lease was to renovate the Ottoman ruins and create a tourist site, and a jumping of site for Hajj. The Island would, however, also give Turkey a strategic port on the Red Sea south of the Suez Canal, one of the most important shipping lanes in the world. Sudan has also agreed to allow Turkey to maintain a military base up the coast in Port Sudan. The stated purpose of this is to fight terrorism in the Horn of Africa. Which is also the stated purpose of the military training facility that Turkey will open in Somalia.

This past May, Turkey also openly sent arms to militias in Libya contrary to international law. The militias were engaged in a battle against the Libyan National Army under the command of Khalifa Haftar. The LNA is trying to take control of Tripoli from the Government of National Accord, which is recognized by the UN as the legitimate government of Libya.

In the past few days, Turkey has regularly sent its military into northern Iraq in operations against Kurdish terrorists. They would like to establish a more permanent presence in Iraq. And they have been preparing to enter northern Syria east of the Euphrates. Once again, the battle against terrorism is fueling Erdogan's Ottoman ambitions. The Kurdish terrorists that Turkey would like to 'neutralize' in Syria are also allies of Turkey's NATO ally, the United States.

This from the Middle East Eye:

Turkey will carry out an operation in the area east of the Euphrates river against US-backed Kurdish militants, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday. 

Erdogan said during a motorway-opening ceremony that his country has run out of patience towards "harassment fire" by the People's Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian offshoot of the Kurdish PKK militias considered a terrorist group by Turkey. The YPG was the main ally of the US in its battle against the Islamic State in Syria. 

He said he had already notified the US and Russia of the planned operation, the third in Syria in as many years. 

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