Feb 26 2018

Erdoğan’s dreams may spark conflagration - analysis

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s dreams of grandeur may spark a major firestorm in the region, wrote Yochanan Visser for Israel National News.

Erdoğan is now fighting with the Kurds, antagonizing Greece and squaring up to President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in northern Syria, hinting of the resurrection of the Ottoman Empire and expanding’s Turkey’s territory, Visser said in an analysis.

Amid military tensions with Greece over disputed Aegean islets and Cyprus, including the ramming of a Greek coastguard vessel, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias warned at the weekend that Greece is not Syria or Iraq and “will defend its borders and territory.”

“It seems this is not enough to deter Erdoğan, who no longer hides his Islamist tendencies and hegemonic agenda for Turkey and even praised child martyrdom during a speech to supporters of his AKP party in Kahramanmaras,” Visser said.

Visser was referring to an incident in which Erdoğan, speaking in front of thousands of supportersin the southern Turkish city, handed a little girl dressed in military uniform a Turkish flag telling her, as he touched her head, that it would be used to cover her body should she be martyred.

Turkey’s battle against the Kurds in Syria’s north, backed by Sunni Islamist forces including remnants of al-Qaeda, threatens to widen to include Shiite militia allied with Assad, who arrived in the area last week in a dangerous new development for the war-torn country, Visser said.

Erdoğan reacted furiously and invoked ‘Allah’s help’ in his vow to “ break the arms and wings of the terrorist infrastructure and to destroy it completely,” Visser said.