Essentially, a revived Ottoman Empire is what Erdoğan wishes for. As stated here a few times, the Turkish incursions in Syria were never about ISIS, but eliminating the Kurds. The Kurds are just one small stumbling block in the way of gaining a foothold in Syria. Also, the Kurds are not allied with Syria, but are stuck in the middle and could eventually face extinction as Washington has now turned its back on them.
Washington gets to do what it wants in Syria as well as Turkey, per the deal allowing U.S. military additional base access in exchange for turning a blind eye.
Meanwhile, ISIS gets free access to Turkish hospitals when in need of care while America stages minimal impact bombing runs on ISIS and fakes its outrage at Turkey’s massacre of Kurds.
Turkey’s relentless military campaign against Kurds and her pseudo fight against the Islamic State has certainly opened up many new questions regarding the future of the Middle East.
With Saudi-US bi-lateral relations experiencing some stress due to the yet-in-the-making Iran deal, Turkey has resurfaced as a potential U.S. ally, capable of not only virtually replacing the House of Saud, but also on the way to becoming the latest Mid-Eastern behemoth.
The Middle East, as it stands, is a gold-mine that every regional and global player wants to dig in. Turkey is no exception to it and, as such, has her own designs to implement and critical objectives to achieve out of current conflict.
While the idea of Turkish regional hegemony — a sort of re-enactment of Ottoman Empire — is a long-cherished Turkish State ideal, its current involvement in the multi-front conflict has much to do with eliminating the most immediate threat to the materialization of that dream: Kurds.
Without mincing any words, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was quick to assert, “It is not possible for us to continue the peace process with those who threaten our national unity and brotherhood.”
Let’s break down Turkey’s anti-Kurd military strategy to grasp its larger implications. First of all, it is quite evident, and an important point to note, that Turkey’s participation in the so-called campaign against the ISIS was never meant to really involve Ankara against the ISIS. At least this is what Turkey’s political and military leadership had in mind when the decision to deploy military was taken recently.
Turkey’s strategic objective, therefore, does not involve elimination of the ISIS. It has two specific targets: Kurds and Assad. Both of these targets are deeply linked with the materialization of Turkish ideal of unchallenged regional supremacy.
According to the understanding reached between the U.S. and Turkey, the U.S. was to play its role in helping to establish such a zone, and in return, it was to be allowed to launch military operations against the Islamic State from Incirlik Air Base and other bases in Turkey “within a certain framework,” according to Erdoğan.
Terms of this “framework” certainly included ‘American silence’ against Turkey’s sinister campaign against the PKK.
That Turkey’s prime motivation was never the ISIS is also quite evident from the air strikes it has so far launched. There is hardly any ISIS stranglehold in Syria or Iraq that might have seen off Turkish jets.
Full article: Erdoğan’s game plan as Turkey enters war (Asia Times)