26 February 2020 — New Eastern Outlook
If Turkey’s Erdogan had some ‘neo-Ottoman’ dreams, they seem to have been almost fully shattered by the fast-pace Russia-Syria offensive in norther Syria and recovery of the territory hitherto being controlled by the so-called ‘rebel’ forces, including those being funded by Turkey ever since the beginning of the ‘civil-war’ in Syria. An analysis of the evolution of Turkey’s policies in Syria shows that it has been a massive failure. Starting with the objective of ‘sending Assad home’, which ultimately meant to allow Turkey to extend its influence in Syria and thereby impose a ‘permanent solution’ on its Kurdish problem, to collaborating with Russia, Iran and Syria in Sochi and Astana processes, Turkey’s primary motivation has always been to raise its regional strategic profile in a way that allows it to become a new regional hegemon. It has been trying to maintain a calculated distance from the US/NATO, considering that the US support for the Kurds remains the key element of its Middle Eastern policy, and it has been maintaining a calculated relationship with Russia—Syria in the hopes of finding the same ‘permanent solution’ to its Kurdish question through a direct control of large swaths of Syrian territory.