The escalation of the situation in the Middle East and the failure of the Turkish policy of neo-Ottomanism
The crisis development of the situation in the Middle East, the destabilization of almost all the regimes established with Western assistance during the Arab Spring refute the strategic calculations in the region not only the United States, but also those who, for the sake of their own interests, have joined the American plans here. The largest "loser" was Turkey. More recently, the Turkish leadership, led by R. Erdogan, claimed, within the framework of the strategy of neo-Ottomanism, to restore the former influence of almost the entire space that the Ottoman Empire once occupied. Turkish Foreign Minister A. Davutoglu added to this the “strategic depth” doctrine, which assumed the dominance of Ankara in those parts of the Turkic world that had never entered the possession of the Ottomans, particularly in Central Asia and internal Russia ... Turkish intelligence chief MIT Hakan Fidan positioned the special services under his jurisdiction as the most knowledgeable and influential in the region, capable, in addition, of conducting major independent actions, including undermining certain regimes. And all of them are currently reaping the fruits of their inflated ambitions.
For the implementation of the ambitious plans conceived, the “new ottomans” simply did not have enough economic, military-political, and other potential. For example, regular meetings of the heads of the countries of the Turkic world turned into pompous, costly and ineffective events, with which many of them began to grow more and more. The economic ties within this community, having reached a certain level, began to stagnate, hopes for Turkish financial assistance, as it turned out, were clearly exaggerated. The leaders of the post-Soviet Central Asian states were convinced that practically no problem related to maintaining their national security could be solved with the help of Turkey. Moreover, they began to fear her attempts at spreading her political model and planting agents of influence on their territory. Even civilization and geographically closest to Ankara, Baku began to show a certain wariness towards it. Held in May-June with. The University of Fatih survey among experts from seven Middle Eastern countries also showed that most of them are of the opinion that Turkey’s foreign policy objectives do not match its real possibilities.
Turkish leaders have made a number of major and fatal mistakes. Of these, the most important was the intervention in Syria with the aim of establishing there an obedient regime. Asad resisted, and from the former allies - some problems. Turkey faced a boomerang effect. Having initially relied on the oppositional, relatively moderate Syrian free army, the Turks very quickly became convinced of its incapacity and, step by step, got involved in support of the more militant jihadists. They considered their unnatural alliance with the open Alkayda members temporary and officially denied it in every possible way. However, evidence of their close relationship is too much. The leader of Syrian Kurds, Salih Muslim, who is guided by the Kurdistan Workers ’Party in Turkey (PKK), cites numerous testimonies of how Ankara has collected and trained and then equipped weapons Islamic radicals from all over the world, including those who organized the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria” (IGIS) that had escaped from its control. The jihadists, too, from the very beginning did not have much confidence in Ankara and seemed to use it to their advantage to a much greater degree than she did them. The chairman of the People’s Republican Party of Turkey, Kamal Kilicdaroglu, confirmed that there are facts of the supply of weapons by the IGIS government by the Justice and Development Party government. In an interview with the Turkish newspaper "Jumhuriyat", the leader of the Turkish opposition stated that the Erdogan government would pay dearly for its policies in the Middle East.
One of the last joint ventures of the Turkish authorities and the anti-Syrian radical militants was their failed invasion under the guise of the military might of the Turkish army in the border Syrian province of Latakia, a stronghold of the Asad dynasty. It began with the seizure and destruction of the Armenian-populated city of Kasab, one of the few untouched during the genocide of Armenians in the Turkish Empire, and there, apparently, and ends. A few days ago, the Syrian government army liberated Kasab, encircling an approximately 4-thousandth jihadist group in Latakia, which it is now methodically destroying. Having considered all the risks, Ankara considered it a blessing to refrain from mass military intervention itself. The militants abandoned to the mercy of fate are not allowed back to Turkey.
Convinced of the strength of the positions of Assad in central Syria, the jihadists decided to change the vector of their main efforts to the east. At the same time, the IGIS invasion of Iraq itself began with a large strategic deception, to which, first of all, the head of the Turkish intelligence Fidan "bought", which can be considered a great personal failure. According to Syrian sources, the Turks contributed to the rearmament and redeployment of the ISIS units to the east, believing that they would be involved in fights with pro-Assad forces and opponents from Jebhat al-Nusra in the provinces of Deir ez-Zor and Raqqah, and in Iraq they could not go further Anbar province.
The Turks could not even imagine that this organization, which was not particularly distinguished in the battles with the battle-hardened army of Bashar al-Assad and who was mainly involved in the fight (it killed up to 1400 people) with competitors from Dzhebhat en Nusra, would achieve such shattering successes in Iraq. It was there that her main forces actually went instead of Deir ez-Zor and Raqqi. And as a mockery, it seems to many in Turkey that IGIS took about a hundred Turkish citizens hostage in Mosul, including the country's general consul in this city with its entire staff. The leader of IGIS al-Baghdadi challenged all "apostates from the faith" in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey itself. Practically, ISIS, as expected, proceeded to the next stage of jihad - against its own recent patrons.
Image, economic and other losses of Turkey from the events are enormous, and actions to rehabilitate their consequences are clumsy. A court in Ankara, for example, has banned Turkish journalists from writing about their fellow countrymen abducted in northern Iraq. The court justified its decision with the need to protect the security of the hostages. Earlier, Turkish Prime Minister R. Erdogan accused the opposition and critical Turkish media of wanting to use the topic for political purposes and "endanger human lives." Journalists loyal to the regime are trying to prove that IGIS is the brainchild of the United States CIA alone, just like Al Qaeda at the time, denying the second parent, the Erdogan government, obviously participating in this process.
Iraq was one of the main importers of Turkish products. Sales there reached almost 12 billion dollars a year. Based on Iraqi oil, the giant oil-loading port of Ceyhan was created, supplies to which only a tenth of its capacity is supplied by pipe from Baku. Turkey's total losses from the upheavals in Iraq are estimated by experts in the medium term to be 8,5 billion dollars.
However, the most unpleasant surprise for the Turks occurred in Iraqi Kurdistan. More recently, Ankara, fearing the growth of separatist sentiment among the Kurdish population of Turkey, said it was ready to go for military intervention in Kurdish autonomy in Iraq if Iraqi Kurds try to occupy Kirkuk. Another reason for intervention in Iraq she called a significant violation of the rights of the Turkic ethnic minority (Turkomanov) in Iraq. Now Ankara is forced to silently observe how the Kurds occupied Kirkuk and, possibly, annexed Mosul to their territories. After the accession of these regions, Turkey will not only be unable to threaten the considerably entrenched Iraqi Kurdistan, but will itself become dependent on it, since it is from Kirkuk and Mosul that Iraq’s oil flows into Turkish Ceyhan. Especially humiliating for the Turks was the fact that, contrary to the declared obligations, they could not protect the Iraqi Turkomans, in particular in Tal Afar, and their tribal leaders even raised the question of their accession to Iraqi Kurdistan. It is easy to foresee that in the coming years the problem of the Kurds in Turkey itself will be again actualized. Boomerang stood on the reverse course.
Turkish publicist Ergin Yildyzoglu (Ergin Yıldızoğlu) compares the US imperial projects and the project of the “new Ottoman Empire,” which the Justice and Development Party (AKP) cherished in its dreams of “strategic depth,” then to stick it, like a parasite, to the Washington project. . According to the publicist, “it’s enough to raise your head and look around” to understand that the US imperial plans, based on absurd ideas connected with the reconstruction of the regions at gunpoint, democratization “from the outside,” are collapsing. Thinking about parallel ambitions for the restoration of the sphere of influence of the Ottoman Empire, he asks a rhetorical, but quite reasonable question: "If the US imperial project sinks, how can a parasite sticking to its back drown?"
- Dmitry MININ
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