There is no reason to believe that Turkey’s facilitation of ISIS operations in the region, and its link to ISIS both economically and politically, will cease.
With Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announcing that he would step down at the end of the month due to a falling-out with the Turkish president, it is very unlikely that a major shift in Turkish foreign policy will take place anytime soon. This move is expected to grant even more powers to Turkey’s increasingly autocratic president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who cited Nazi Germany as an example of effective governance that he sought to establish in his own country. Expect an imminent government purge of at least 1,800 members of the current leadership to include Defense Security Staff members who have sided with the outgoing prime minister. The reality is that not much action is expected by the Turkish military on behalf of Davutoglu.
It is important to understand that Turkey’s reasons for this foreign policy are deeply rooted in the history and geography of the country itself. According to Lt. Col. Sargis Sangari, Chief Executive Officer of the Near East Center for Strategic Engagement, Turkey still views as its historical property the territories it once held as part of the Ottoman Empire.
“These created Sunni states which were established as part of the Sykes-Picot Agreement consider Turkey as a ‘big brother,’ as a competitor in the region and on the global stage, a hated competitor,” said Sangari. “Turkey looks at the Arabs and other Sunnis to include Kurds as its previously owned subjects, who now control the oil and resources of those lands, while Turkey has no natural resources within its borders to allow itself to be stable and truly independent geopolitically and to compete globally with the EU, other Western countries and Russia.”