Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is at it, disrupting the region again. This time, he is threatening aggression not only against Greek islands, but also actually attacking the Kurds in northern Syria and Iraq as well as the Yazidis in their homeland of Sinjar, Iraq.
Turkey’s neo-Ottoman expansionist goals in the region appear to be the major motive behind its aggressive policies. The Republic of Turkey will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2023. Erdogan has publicly claimed parts of northern Syria, and Sinjar and Kirkuk in Iraq as part of Turkey in his dream for a new Ottoman Empire. In 2016, for instance, he referred to Misak-ı Milli (“the National Pact”), which contains six decisions about the borders of the Ottoman Empire made by the last term of the Ottoman Parliament in 1920. The National Pact includes claims to parts of Iraq and Syria. “We have responsibilities in accordance with Misak-ı Milli,” Erdogan said.