Turkey’s Victories And Diplomacy. What To Expect Next

Donate

Loading the player...

If you’re able, and if you like our content and approach, please support the project. Our work wouldn’t be possible without your help: PayPal: southfront@list.ru or via: http://southfront.org/donate/ or via: https://www.patreon.com/southfront, BTC: 13iYp9CDYZwgSnFXNtpEKgRRqaoxHPr2MH, BCH: 1NE49pQW8yCegnFCMvKuhLUnuxvTnxNUhf, ETH: 0x962b312a9d41620f9aa0d286f9d7f8b1769bfae6

In recent days, Turkey achieved the most notable military victory since the Greco-Turkish War of 1919-1922. On March 18, the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) and the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) captured the city of Afrin from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) following an almost two-month long military operation in northwestern Syria. The advance, entitled Operation Olive Branch, was widely covered in the Turkish media in a heroic style creating a patriotic frenzy in the country.

During the whole of 2017, the media and authorities were conducting a large-scale propaganda campaign supporting the military and encouraging citizens to enlist. Some foreigners visiting Turkey in the period mentioned leaflets in municipal transport vehicles promoting the ideal of becoming a martyr defending the interests of the country and nation.

Turkish policy is infamous for its flexibility, a rapid and often hard-to-predict ability to change priorities and allies. According to some reports, the Turkish military victory in Afrin had become possible thanks to a political agreement between the Turkish leadership and the administration of US President Donald Trump. In recent months, there was always at least one Turkish deputy foreign minister in the US for negotiations and at one point most of them were there together.

Meanwhile, Ankara was involved in a successful political dialogue with Moscow, thus preventing Russian interference with its plans or support for Syrian Kurds. Nonetheless, the US-Turkish backroom deal was the main factor behind the success in Afrin.

The US halted its military support to Kurdish militias in northwestern Syria and pressured the Kurdish leadership in the rest of so-called Rojava thus preventing a minor chance that the YPG, known in the mainstream media as the SDF, would open up a new front against the Turkish forces. As a result, the YPG abandoned its key stronghold of Afrin almost without firing a single shot.

The number and types of weapons and ammunition captured by the TAF and the FSA in the city proves that the YPG in Afrin had been receiving military supplies from both the so-called US-led and Russian-led blocks. While details of the game behind the scenes are yet to be revealed, the recent developments have, in any case, led to the Turkish military and diplomatic success.

Almost immediately, following the fall of Afrin, Turkey started implementing a more pro-US approach in its foreign policy. It wiped the YPG out of northwestern Syria and thus no longer needs to manoeuvre between the US and Russia over this issue. At the same time, Ankara’s expansionist aspirations are still on the table. The Erdogan regime will try to annex the north and northwest of Syria by establishing a quasi-state or an autonomy controlled by its proxies. The Syrian government, Iran and Russia will not be able to tolerate this. In this  way, the US could become an organic ally of Turkey in northern Syria in the near future.

However, the depth of the possible US-Turkish cooperation will depend on multiple factors, one of them is the Manbij issue. The city is currently controlled by the SDF, which is a mostly PR brand for YPG units backed up by the US. Ankara seeks to kick the YPG out of the city and its countryside by a military force. However, US troops deployed in Manbij and patrolling the Syrian-Turkish border in the SDF-held areas prevent this. In this situation, Turkey has proposed the US to establish a joint security zone in the area, which will not allow the YPG presence. However, the idea has not received a public support from Washington so far.

“That’s funny, because no agreement has been reached,” US Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters on March 20 commenting on the statement by the Turkish presidential spokesman that the sides have already reached an agreement over the city.

The changes in the Turkish stance towards Russia can be clearly observed through its foreign policy rhetoric. On March 16, the country’s foreign ministry issued an official statement describing the 2014 referendum in Crimea illegitimate.

On the other hand, Ankara seeks to maintain at least neutral relations with Moscow and to develop further the economic cooperation with it. The TurkStream pipeline is a strategically important project for the Turkish leadership because it will allow it to gain control over the transit of natural gas into southern Europe.

In the coming months, Turkey will continue strengthening its political and military influence in the region as well as developing its foreign policy activity. If Ankara succeed in this, the other regional powers will face additional risks caused by the traditional pan-Turkish expansionism, which arises every time Turkey strengthens its military and political power.

Meantime, Turkey has the following goals:

  • to consolidate gains and to expand the territory under its control in northern and northwestern Syria as well as in northern Iraq. The expansion in northern Iraq may be conducted under the pretext of military efforts against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Sinjar. The military presence in neighboring countries will be justified publicly by the need to create so-called “security zones” to combat “terrorism”;
  • to strengthen positions on the so-called Cyprus Issue. Northern Cyprus is a self-proclaimed state occupying the northern part of the island and is recognized only by Turkey. Turkey maintains a notable military force there;
  • to strengthen its influence in the Aegean Sea;
  • to expand its cultural and political influence into the Turkic states of Central Asia and to restore its clandestine influence on the Turkic regions of Russia.

Donate

SouthFront

Do you like this content? Consider helping us!

  • alejoeisabel

    Huge mistake to allow Turkey to invade Afrin. Plays into the hands of the Anglo/Zionists. Now the Anglo/Zionists will set a trap for war between Turkey and Russia.

    • Rosie

      Google giving every one 98 dollars per-hour to do easy tasks from home .. Labor for few hours & enjoy more time together with your own relatives .. Any person can do this limited offer!!!last Tuesday I bought a brand new Mitsubishi Evo after I been making $14252 last six weeks .it’s actually nicest-job but you could now not forgive yourself if you do not test it.!hx34e:➥➥➥ http://GoogleDataOnlineFreelanceJobs/get/98$/per/hr ♥♥♥n♥♥♥c♥♥w♥♥♥m♥♥d♥♥♥h♥s♥♥b♥♥b♥♥♥h♥♥♥z♥♥w♥♥♥x♥♥♥j♥u♥♥m♥v♥a♥♥♥v♥♥s♥♥♥z♥♥h♥♥♥l♥♥♥m♥♥♥w::::!gx903f:ewleiq

    • Waffles

      Wrong! Erdogan is playing his own game. He knows how to outsmart the Ziosaudiericans.

      • Icarus Tanović

        Thats very right.

      • alejoeisabel

        Absolutely, he is playing his own game in his own mind; however, the Anglo/Zionists are pushing him in the direction of war with Syria and Iran and Russia. It is in Israel’s interest that Turkey occupy Afrin, and violate Syrian sovereignty just as Israel does in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

        • Langaniso Mhlobo

          You are right.But the hidden agenda is USA/NATO wants to give Kurds independent state by force in Syria .In order to have control over oil and gas fields which USA is currently occupying 70%.

          Maybe you heard of Arabs expulsion by USA and SDF from occupied Kurdish areas to ensure that Arabs shouldn’t be used tomorrow to reclaim this stolen oilfields and resources areas.Erdogan knows this plan and are preventing it.USA wants Erdogan to buy patriot system which NATO can easily take out if deem necessary not S-400 which will give them problems.If USA/NATO plans pass then Saudi Arabia will be destroyed overnight and oil resources exploit just as Gadafi,Saddam and others who help them in Afganistan against Russia ambitions where destroyed.

      • Langaniso Mhlobo

        Thumbs up.Very very true.

    • Turkey is a NATO member so Turkey-Russia war = US-Russia war.

      • velociraptor

        no. turkey is agressor, has no right to ask for help. read nato article.

        • I’m no fan of the Ottoman Empire, as I think you know, but alejoeisabel was presenting an hypothetical situation. In his/her scenario it wasn’t stated clearly who was the aggressor. So hypothetically either nation could initiate the direct hostilities between the two. SU-24 shootdown of 2016 doesn’t count as it is already history and understanding was reached.

          You are correct about the terms of the NATO alliance. Members are not bound to support another member’s aggression, or else NATO would have been compelled to assist in the 1974 Cyrus invasion. However, “IF” Russia were to unilaterally attack the Ottomans, NATO would be compelled to participate on Turkey’s side.

          Best idea would be to expel the Ottoman Sultanate from NATO, IMO.

          • alejoeisabel

            Russia allowed Turkish aggression in Afrin. If Russia and Syria and Iran has shown a determination to defend the territorial integrity of Syria and to defend it militarily, Turkey would have to think twice to invade.

          • Langaniso Mhlobo

            The problem is the Kurdsh doesn’t want to cooperate with said countries. But wants federal Kurdish only state in Syria and supporting USA/NATO hidden agendas against the legitimate government.
            Best option is let Erdogan bulshit Kurds and USA plan’s.Currently Kurds are USA tool’s both in Turkey,Iraq,Iran and Syria.

          • Ishyrion Av

            NATO is forced to respond only in theory. In practice, all state member of the alliance has to agree to assist the member under attack. It has to be an unanimous decision.
            If Turkey is attacked by Russia, I will name you at least two country which will claim that not the Russia is the aggressor, and those are Greece and Hungary.
            Perhaps Bulgaria too.
            And my guess is that Germany won’t put too much pressure or hurry to jump for turks.
            I will go further and say that neither US will be in hurry.
            The turkey is cooking already, just they don’t know yet.

          • Luna

            Wishfull thinking.

          • You may be right. There is little in the way of Case History since the Alliance’s inception to go by. Other than patrolling the “Iron Curtain” and assisting Jihadis in varied lands they haven’t been active militarily.

          • Langaniso Mhlobo

            Don’t worry Richard the desert rat and father of tunnel digger Erdogan will expel himself after finished sabotaging USA dreams.

        • Feudalism Victory

          Nato was obsolete years ago and will not fight but have many nice summits.

    • Feudalism Victory

      Turkey is going to end up fighting everyone around them

  • velociraptor

    Thanks Putin, Betrayaer of Nations! (also russian)

  • All hail the victorious Ottoman Wehrmacht and Fuhrer! Ein Reich, ein volk, ein Fuhrer!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQtxnZrFg_4

    • I think they a bit Mad.

    • Icarus Tanović

      Screw you, idiot.

      • Bite me, dawgbreath.

        • Icarus Tanović

          Chill out, holmes…

          • I’m cool as cucumber, Jackson!

          • Icarus Tanović

            Maybe like a Wyoming potato in January, homie… 😁

          • Here’s your Wyoming potato farm, Simpson. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9H4Qbq06fg

          • Icarus Tanović

            This is something for you, lion heart…
            https://youtu.be/z7t28OS3uMw

          • Been there. Nearly got killed in Laramie when a computer controlled transmission put my 18 wheel truck into Neutral on top of Sherman Mountain. When I went by the Petro and Pilot 5 miles from the foot of the mountain I was still well over 100 MPH.

          • Icarus Tanović

            I’ve been telling you 300 times to get manual one, Peter Built.
            My 19 wheel Mack four wheel drive is manual one, but I cumber on the highway close to Flagstaff, Arizona with 90 tons of coal for thermo powerplant. My bad. I haven’t instaled original turkish chains on every wheel. Can you imagine my Horror John Rambo, huh?

          • Copy the One Stack Mack with a Window in the Back! Don’t go down US 60 through Salt River Canyon. That twisty winding bad boy will take all your air before you know it!

          • Icarus Tanović

            No way, man! I hit and run Grizzly bear along the way. What do you got to say?
            But I got to admit, I, was listening to wrong kind of music.
            It was Alan Jackson all over, and now of the sudden Mustafa Sandal start his World wide known hit: Araba shiki-dum, Araba Shikidum, shikidum. And I take that literally and hit the throttle, and you already know consequences… Boa!

  • Daniel Martin

    If Erdogan continues his geopolitical zigzagging between the U.S and Russia I’m afraid that he could very easily find himself in similar position as the Kurds are today in northern Syria, or to put it simply, unwanted by any side, I think that Erdogan can’t afford himself that luxury no matter what. He should bare in mind who gave him the green light for his operation olive branch in Syria, and just as easily as the Russians gave him that permission in in consent with it’s Syrian and Iranian allies it could just as easily be withdrawn, and closing the Syrian skies for Turkish air force would leave their ground troops in Syria in a very vulnerable position from a well equipped YPG. The game is far from over and we all know that alliances in the Middle East changes on a day to day basis. In conclusion Erdogan should think twice before pissing on Putin’s carpet …

    • Turks are very proud of the war material seized in Afrin City, but for the War Machines of US or Russia it is a pittance that could be restored in a few days.

      • ha ha ha ha Tractors.

        • Chickens and goats for girlfriends for the FSA and Single Turkish men.ha ha

  • schiamachy

    “The number and types of weapons and ammunition captured by the TAF and the FSA in the city proves that the YPG in Afrin had been receiving military supplies from both the so-called US-led and Russian-led blocks.” – South Front.
    Just because a weapon is manufactured in a country does not mean it was supplied directly by that country. It is common knowledge that the USA supplies weapons to insurgent/terrorist groups that were manufactured by Russia to give the impression that Russia supplied those weapons. Although in recent times the USA has been supplying US made modern ground to air missile launchers to terrorist groups via the quasi Syrian Defence Force and it is then passed on to Al Nusra etc. Can the author indicate which weapons were supplied by both Russia and the USA.

    • velociraptor

      russians also gave them weapons. this fact was several times gloryfied in both, AMN and SF.

      • Boris Kazlov

        Please post your “proof”

        • velociraptor

          check archives of these two sources. i gave you the proof. moreover, russians gave weapons also for iraqi kurds.

          • RichardD

            You’re a big liar. I haven’t seen anything on SF or AMN that Russia is arming the Kurds. And the Russians deny it:

            “Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Syrian Kurdish forces fighting against the Islamic State (IS) were competent and did not require Russia’s support.

            Putin, speaking to the media in Beijing, China, announced Russia did not have any plans to support the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

            “They have other sources supplying them arms. We know that the Kurdish forces [YPG and their SDF allies] are a real factor in Syria and they do take part in operations against the so-called Islamic State and are one of the most well-trained and capable forces in this fight,” he said.

            Regarding Turkish concerns with arming the YPG, Putin said Russia has always sought to avoid clashes or threats from being made towards their military personnel.

            “I don’t think there is anything that can raise concerns among our Turkish counterparts as our position is clear and they will understand us,” he said.”

            – Russia reveals its stance towards arming Syrian Kurds –

            http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/d5c06171-3e29-4e37-9540-d3304a01e215

        • velociraptor

          haha, of course, such animal like FG likes you :DD

    • FlorianGeyer

      When you say Russia , are you saying the old and defunct ( for 27 years ) USSR weapons that are in existence all over the globe and also copies of those weapons?

  • Rüdiger Preiss

    If Erdogan thinks that this solves the Kurdish problem, he’s delusional. It’ll make it worse.

    • FlorianGeyer

      He realises that I am sure and his aim is for a ‘Final solution’ to the Kurdish population within Turkey I am sure.

      More refugees to Europe :)

      • Luna

        A significant proportion of them vote for Erdogan. Middle East people love and adore power. Dont be surprised if most of the Kurdish armed fractions join Turkish proxies with in a few years in Erdogans quests to come.

    • Right word be there ; delusional
      dɪˈluːʒ(ə)n(ə)l/Submit
      adjective
      characterized by or holding idiosyncratic beliefs or impressions that are contradicted by reality or rational argument, typically as a symptom of mental disorder.
      “hospitalization for schizophrenia and delusional paranoia”
      based on or having faulty judgement; mistaken.
      “their delusional belief in the project’s merits never wavers”

  • Art Best

    The US and Putin, and the power behind both, the Tribe, are supporting Turkey. So the Turks continue make gains. “The International Community” backs Turkey. The Kurds don’t have planes, powerful SAMs or tanks (except for a few clunkers). The Kurds are destined for the biggest defeat of their history

    UNLESS…

    It’s all up to the bankers, really. As long as the money changers extend credit to President Erdogan’s Turkey and do not attack its currency the Turkish Lira by shorting, the Kurds are finished.

    With allies like the Americans, who needs enemies.

    • Luna

      Bankers are in the business for making more money. If you are inviting them to follow leftist ideals and lose a fortune every day with paralyzing swaps , you are living in la la land.

      • Art Best

        That’s not my point BUT if the bankers wanted to engage in a lucrative trade, I don’t see how they could lose by shorting the Lira as the currency has been going down since its inception. With additional selling, this currency could easily be made to lose 20-30 percent of its value in a short time, netting the trade a handsome profit.

        BUT, again, that’s not MY point. My point is, the bankers are foregoing a sure-winner trade and thence financing and propping up President Erdogan’s Turkey at their own expense!

        In other words, the money changers are knowingly LOSING money for the sake of saving Erdogan’s Turkey.

    • FlorianGeyer

      You posted this rubbish yesterday. I realise its Saturday today and a Jewish day of rest but that being the case wait until you get a new Talking Point from your masters tomorrow :)

      • Art Best

        What makes it rubbish?

        • FlorianGeyer

          The letters that form the words and conflicting arguments that you write.

          It is an old Hasbara tactic of using both sides of an argument at the same time in a statement.

          • Art Best

            I thought I was describing the reality on the ground and precisely NOT taking anybody’s side. Where do you see me arguing for which side? I’m only stating that the Turks are stronger than the Kurds who have not been helped by their ally the US of A in their struggle in Afrin. In addition, international bankers are standing behind the Turks with financial and likely political support. How can you accuse me of taking sides when I’m not rooting for anyone, only stating facts?

  • paul ( original )

    Russia can expect nothing from the Turks except a stab in the back. I am at
    a loss to understand why Russia would give Turkey any sort of control
    over its gas exports. Do they think the Turk are more honest than the
    Ukrainians ? Russia should bide its time until Europe comes begging
    for its gas.

    • velociraptor

      exactly!

      moreover, i remeber putins speeches, he vowed, no one turkish soldier can put his foot on syrian soil.

      so can the nations trust russia.

  • TheBear

    Plenty of wrong or informed conclusions and assumptions in this article.

    Let me try and explain some points.

    – Turkish army does not have the enlistment system. Every male Turkish citizen serves in the military after highschool/university for a period of 6-18 months. The officers are graduates of military schools (with some exceptions) and serve as public servants, until they retire. Thus no one can enlist. There are forced conscription laws which could recall most male Turkish citizens back to military service in case of emergencies but I don’t believe they were ever used.

    -Since US started its campaign to clear out ISIS from Iraq and Syria, Turkey has been vocal about the use of PKK/PYD as the ground troops. The country tried using “soft power” to discourage this policy with US. However it resulted in extremely strained relations with US, Germany and within NATO.

    -Turkey has consistently maintained that it will not allow a YPG/PKK led armed force stay permanently next to their borders. Especially they maintained the red line was west of the Eupharetes River.

    -US led forces, against any political action by Turkey moved and captured/liberated the Menbij region. According to turkish media and turkish political announcments, US promised when the city was captured, PKK/PYD will retreat behind the Eupharetes River. This has not happened.

    – The first “hard force” action by Turkey, was the Eupherates Shield operation which while was against ISIS, made it impossible for YPG to connect with their forces in Afrin. This in my opinion was a warning to US, that Turkey was serious. However it resulted in no policy change from the EU countries or US. Relations continued to deteriorate. The usual Greek, Cyprus and Armenian issues were unshelved.

    – The second “hard force” action by Turkey was Operation Olive Branch. The trigger of the operation was the announcement by the US of the formation of a border force that consists of 30.000 PKK/YPG members. The reason the operation went ahead was because Russia allowed the use of Syrian Airspace. The operation is/was against US interests in the area. According to various sources Turkey informed US, NATO and EU of the operation at its beginning and continued the flow of information during the operation. I can see no particular reason Russia and Iran was not informed in a similar fashion. In my personal opinion, this operation is a Turkey-Russia collaboration and is against US interests.

    – PKK/KCK/PYD (please add more acronyms where appropriate) is an armed insurgency that has operated inside TUrkey, Syria and Iran for many years, with dealings in smuggling and drug trafficking. They have been supplied by many countries over the years, including Syria, Iran and several EU countries mostly through unoffical/illegal channels. It is not surprising that they have amassed an arsenal from various sources.

  • Hulusi Akar

    Video calls Turkish government a regime, but Assad regime is being called Syrian government. Lol

  • Drukalovisck

    Erdogan will not solve the problem of the Kurds invading Syrian Arab Republic, disappoint me know that Russia opened the Syrian airspace for Turkey to bomb Syrian territory under the pretext of “terrorists” of the YPG.
    Turkish actions to invade Afrin with the rebels and Russian support (open air space) will not succeed, after all, after Bashar al-Assad finish his advances in Eastern Ghouta and in other areas, he will focus on strategic invaders, ie, Turkey, United States and Israel, which has strategic control of some positions in the Syrian territory.

  • dasboot47

    turkey has to make a desicion , nato , russia or turkey goes with the islamists, erdogan is with the bak on the wall , he has to make some really gains maybe he goes to war with greece for the gas fields in the ägian or he has to conquer more of syria.
    the lira is on free fall , the turkish economy is going to colapse, if erdogan fails he will be hanged by the turks.

  • s Slippy

    Wow telling it like it is and calling Turkey a winner, but then you just had to depict Erdogan as a devil…. where is the journalistic integrity?

  • Dirty Turkey bombed them from the Sky’s with jets from Germany and Israel. The YPG-J have not got much.They also bombed the Kurdish people. They also called it Operation Olive Branch which Really should not be allowed.

    • Omer Cayirli

      Since when F-16’s are German or Israel made? If you even don’t know this then you should better shut up.

  • RichardD

    The Turks don’t want to be on the losing side, and cozying up with the baby rapers isn’t looking like an attractive option at this time.

  • John Brown

    If Turkey follows these goals they and Erdogan and his entire family personally will be destroyed as it is written in the Yinon plan for a greater racist supremacist Israel and Erdogan will be even more stupid then Gorbi was. After all racist Jews already tried to kill Erdogan once already in the coup attempt and look what happened to Ghadafi, Saddam etc. and every other former Israeli ally / slave.

  • Feudalism Victory

    Turkey the new revisionist power to use force of arms to overturn past losses. Pitch perfect could be scripted.

  • Dorean

    Let us not forget the everyday threats to annex up to 250 Greek Isles (including some in… Southwest Crete!) and Eastern Thrace by force, steal the oil fields south of Cyprus and after that, according to all these deranged neo-ottoman freaks around Erdo, deliver an “Ottoman Slap” and conquer Athens. It’s good to be a Superior Turk nowadays! Next stop, Malta! Then Vienna!

  • alejoeisabel

    Syria and Russia must never allow Turkey any air access over Afrin. Only Syria and Russia MUST maintain air superiority over Afrin, Turks will be unable to defend any continued illegal occupation of Syrian sovereign territory. No air access to the Turks.

  • χρηστος

    lets add that Turkey is trying to manipulate Chinese citizens, the Uyghurs . Trying to radicalise them, gave them Turkish passports ,send many to Syria to fight. A dangerous global game there….trying to be a leader in the Muslim world……

  • DenLilleAbe

    Turkey did what they did, unopposed by Russia and Syria. Unopposed!
    So the deal cutting happened not between Turkey and the US, but between Turkey, Russia and Syria.
    That must be comprehensible to most.
    Syria wants the US out. Turkey can do that. The US id not wanted. Erdogan will get guarantees, and the Kurds will learned a lesson.
    Mission accomplished.