This week, former Brigadier of the Turkish Army, General Ihsan Bashbozgurd, shows a map depicting the territories of neighboring countries – Azerbaijan, Armenia, Iran, Syria, Bulgaria, Greece – as Turkey’s own territory, when asked about Turkey’s future geopolitics plans.
According to the map highlighting Erdogan’s Neo-Ottoman ambitions, the Iranian-Armenian border is non-existent, with over half of Armenia being swallowed up by Turkey and Azerbaijan, and even Nakhchivan having joined Turkey. Parts of east and south Armenia are also depicted as part of Azerbaijan.
This comes at a time when President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan exchanges pleasantries on the topic of the normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey without preconditions.
In the television interview, the brigadier investigated why Turkey was present in Mosul, Kirkuk, and Aleppo, trying to convince the audience that these areas should be returned to Turkey. He claims that in 1920 under the English and French mandates, Mosul and Kirkuk were separated from Turkey due to colonial policies. He goes on to say that Erbil is a part of Turkey, but the United States has come to this region from thousands of miles away and established a base. He went on to say that Mosul, Kirkuk, Aleppo, Deir ez-Zor and al-Raqqa are Turkish territories and should not be forgotten. The Brigadier General also cites these policies and ambitions as ones rooted in history and references that the lands in the image belong to Turkey and those living in the aforementioned jurisdictions are friends of the Turkish state. Basbozkurt also exclaims that, “We don’t want Kirkuk for the oil, but because it’s apart of our fatherland.”
He criticizes Iran’s policies in Syria and Iraq and says that Iran must coordinate with the Free Syrian Army and the Turkish government to be present in these two countries and for their [Turkish] operations to run smoother.
The aforementioned can only be described as Turkey’s neo-Ottoman ambitions. This is not the first time Turkey’s expansionist ambitions have been amplified on national Turkish television where large parts of Iraq, Syria, Armenia, Greece, and Bulgaria have been enveloped within the borders of this makeshift neo-Ottoman Turkey.