Turkey’s latest moves indicate that the country’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is doing his best to revive the Ottoman Empire, according to Marcus Papadopoulos, editor of the British magazine Politics First.
“He wants to see Islamism spread because he considers himself to be a 21st century Ottoman leader. He wants to resurrect the Ottoman Empire,” Papadopoulos said.
His remarks came after it was reported that Ankara had started to prepare for the opening of its second base in Somalia, which was described by Papadopoulos as a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism and a base for al-Qaeda.
He also said that everything Turkey does in terms of its foreign policy is being supported by Western countries.
“Turkey acts with impunity because it has the backing of the West,” Papadopoulos pointed out.
Even though Ankara has repeatedly stated that its objective in opening a second military base in Somalia is to enable it to fight the militant group Al-Shabaab more effectively, Papadopoulos believes Turkey sends its military forces to Somalia in order to train terrorists there.
Turkish president Erdogan has Ottoman ambitions & willing to enable Jihadis if that will help contain the Kurds&further his dreams of empire
— curdistani (@curdistani) February 26, 2016
Earlier this month, Syrian presidential aide Bouthaina Shaaban told Sputnik that the so-called Ottoman ambitions of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan were hindered by an inability to reach his goals in Syria.
Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with the country’s government fighting numerous opposition factions and jihadist groups. During the conflict, Ankara has been supporting the Syrian opposition which aims to displace President Bashar Assad.
While it has done nothing to contest Daesh control of Syrian land adjacent to its border, Ankara has taken increasingly aggressive measures against the terrorist group’s principal foes in the country’s north other than the government itself, the Syrian Kurds.
The Ottoman Empire preceded modern Turkey but ceased to exist under nationalist leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in the early 1920s, who replaced it with a strictly secular Turkish nationalist republic. The Ottomans, who famously conquered the ancient city of Constantinople in 1453, built an empire which at one point stretched as far as Morocco in the East and Slovakia in the north, encompassing Turkey, the Balkan Peninsula, most of the Middle East, and North Africa.