Turkey: NATO's Neo-Ottoman Spearhead in the Middle East
Turkey already has troops in Syria and has threatened military action to protect the site they guard.
A 1921 agreement between Ottoman Turkey and France (the Treaty of Ankara), the latter at the time the colonial administrator of Syria, guaranteed Turkey the right to station military personnel at the mausoleum of Suleyman Shah (Suleyman Åah), the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman I (Osman Bey).
Turkey considers the area adjacent to the tomb to be its, and not Syria's, sovereign territory and late last month reinforced its 15-troop contingent there.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated the following in an interview televised on August 5: "The tomb of Suleyman Åah and the land surrounding it is our territory. We cannot ignore any unfavorable act against that monument, as it would be an attack on our territory, as well as an attack on NATO land. Everyone knows his duty, and will continue to do what is necessary." The gravesite of a Seljuk sultan who was reputed to have drowned in the Euphrates River while on a campaign of conquest is now proclaimed a NATO outpost in Syria.
If confirmation was required that a neo-Ottoman Turkey is determined to reassert the influence and authority in Mesopotamia it gained 700 years before and lost a century ago and, moreover, that it was doing so as part of a campaign by self-christened global NATO to expand into the Arab world, the Turkish head of state's threat to militarily intervene in Syria with the support of its 27 NATO allies should provide it.
Especially as the above complements and reinforces the roles of the U.S. and NATO in providing military assistance to Ankara in its current war of attrition against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Turkey and Iraq, with Syria soon to follow as last week Turkey deployed troops, tanks, other armored vehicles and missile batteries to within two kilometers of the Syrian border for war games. Last week a retired Turkish official compared the current anti-Kurdish offensive to the Sri Lankan military's final onslaught against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) three years ago, ending the 25-year-long war against the latter with its complete annihilation.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's trip to Colombia in April was designed to achieve the same result in the 48-year joint Colombian-U.S. counterinsurgency war against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
In the current era of international lawlessness, only NATO states and American clients like Colombia and Israel are permitted to conduct military strikes and incursions into other nations and to wage wars of extermination against opponents.
In the same interview cited above, Turkey's Erdogan asserted the right to continue launching military strikes against Kurdish targets in neighboring countries, stating, "It should be known that as long as the region remains a source of threat[s] for Turkey we will continue staging operations wherever it is needed."
Turkish Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin recently claimed that his nation's armed forces had killed 130 suspected PKK members and supporters in Hakkari province, which borders Iran and Iraq.
Specifically in respect to military attacks inside Syria, Erdogan stated: "One cannot rule that out. We have three brigades along the border currently conducting maneuvers there. And we cannot remain patient in the face of a mistake that can be made there."
He also stated, in reference to fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo, "I believe the Assad regime draws to its end with each passing day" and criticized Iran's support, which is to say its recognition, of the Syrian government. Iran is the inevitable secondary target of actions directed by Turkey and its NATO and Persian Gulf Arab allies against Syria and will be struck through Iraq also.
In the same interview the Turkish head of state identified a third target: Iraq. He condemned the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, declaring it illegitimate and urging it be overthrown. In what portends confrontation and possible conflict with Iran and Syria as well by exploiting the PKK issue, he added:
"Even though we should be countries that share the same values, for us to be in such rigor [conflict?] only makes the terrorist organization more powerful. This leads us to approach each other with suspicion."