The attack to the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (DFNS), Rojava, was announced by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right after the four-way summit in Instabul last October. Turkish President’s goal is to occupy the whole of Northern Syria and further the Turkish borders in the South up to where the Turkish National Oath (or National Pact) of 1920 (Misak-ı Millî) has set. The announcement was made just a few days after the four-way summit in Istanbul on Syria with the participation of Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel, Emmanuel Macron and the Turkish President himself.
It is a deeply alarming escalation, especially if we take into consideration the fact that in Northern Syria, supporting the Kurdish militia People’s Protection Units (YPG), we have the formation of strong American and French military forces.
Based on the current setup of the political chessboard, the advance of the Turkish army would bring them in direct confrontation with the American and the French soldiers, allies of the Kurds.
We should note here that the Americans and the French have established more than ten military bases (camps) in parts of Northern Syria that are controlled by the Kurdish while American guards are placed in the cities of Manbij and Kobani.
The Turkish President said that his country has completed the preparations for the new attack in Northern Syria aiming to eliminate YPG, especially the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that are supported by the US-led coalition.
“We are going to destroy the terrorist structure in the east of the Euphrates. We have completed our preparations, plans, programmes regarding this issue,” Erdogan told lawmakers from his ruling party in parliament. Already since Sunday 28 October, the Turkish military forces started multiple hits against YPG in positions east of Euphrates, in Northern Syria and west of Kobani.
The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), with a written statement, condemned the Turkish actions that bring further instability in the area.
“The Turkish occupation army has recently increased its attacks and violations against the northern regions of Syria and Rojava Kurdistan, which aims to destabilize the security and stability of the region. Hundreds of examples of these violations exist, as the Turkish occupation army on 28 October (today ) By shelling the villages of Zormgar, Jarkli, Sftak and Ashmeh, west of Kobani, with mortars and heavy weapons, and our forces immediately intervened and responded to the attacks as a result of the attacks. To create a new crisis.
At a time when we are striving with all our might to rid our regions of fearful and provocative terrorism on the battlefields to achieve this goal, the Turkish State is providing secret support to mercenaries through these unjustified attacks. We reiterate that we have not carried out any attack or attack on the borders of the occupying Turkish state, and that the aim of these attacks is to try to revive Daesh. We confirm that any illegal attack on the territory of northern Syria from any party would not pass without a response and we have the right to protect ourselves from attacks by all appropriate means.”
Following that announcement, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced they have temporarily halted their offensive against ISIS in the Hajin pocket of Deir ez-Zor province after Turkey repeatedly shelled Kurdish forces in northern Syria.
The continued Turkish attacks “are the reason for a long term suspension of our military campaign against ISIS, which is what Turkey wants,” the SDF stated Wednesday evening, 31 October.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) control the area east of Euphrates and the bridgehead of Manbij, totalling 1/3 of the Syrian land and they are backed by the West.
The Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), the political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces, accused Turkey for selecting to attack the Kurds because of the pressure of Russia to put in action the agreement that Putin and Erdogan made in Sochi on the 17th of September for the creation of a buffer zone in Idlib. Idlib is controlled by the Syrian Al Qaeda, Tahmir al-Sham (former Al-Nusra) and pro-Turkish Islamic groups. At the time of writing of this article, Turkey not only has not moved towards the demilitarization of Idlib but continues to support the jihadists, violating – not surprisingly – the agreement with Russia.
“The policy of spreading the chaos and the creation of crises and the administration of Turkey in Syria has not only brought the Syrians scars and tragedies, except that Turkey avoided within seven years of war any confrontation with the regime’s army, it continued to support the jihadists, and opened its borders to them to work on the implementation of agendas and interests that met with the interests of Turkey, at the forefront of fighting any democratic project or political vision that would establish a democratic change in the future of Syria.”
The Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) called the UN and the International Alliance against Daesh to intervene and assume their responsibilities towards the Turkish provocation of Syrian Democratic Forces, stressing that such behavior would obstruct the war and give it another chance to expand. The Syrian Democratic Council called also the Syrian government – proof that it recognises its authority but also brings it in front of its responsibilities – to take action on an international level in order to put an end to the Turkish aspirations in Syria.
Enver Muslim, co-president of Kobani, called the countries of the International Alliance that fight with the Kurds against the Islamic State Daesh, to take a clear position against the Turkish provocation. The answer came from France who has troops in Northern Syria and made an announcement through the French Minister of Foreign Affairs expressing their concern because of the Turkish bombings in areas of North and South Syria, calling for a political solution.
“We are concerned by the Turkish bombing targeted yesterday against the northeastern part of Syria liberated from Daesh and in particular the Kobani region. We call on Turkey and all of the parties involved to exercise the utmost restraint.
As underscored by the heads of state and government of France, Germany, Russia and Turkey during the Quadrilateral Summit held on Saturday at Turkey’s invitation, there can be no military solution to the Syrian conflict. The means to stabilize Syria over the long term and guarantee its integrity and the security of its neighbors can only be found within the context of a political solution, in accordance with UNSCR 2254.
Our priority remains the fight against Daesh, which the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are continuing with our support.”
Paris acts as the front-man for the US in Syria and it goes without a doubt that the announcement is in line with Washington.
The Turkish Islamic government wants to take control of the entire Northern Syria and North Iraq, fulfilling the Turkish National Oath of 1920 (Misak-ı Millî). On the 28th of January 1920 the last Ottoman Parliament, of the defeated Ottoman Empire during WWI, voted six decisions that set the red lines for the borders of the new nation state of Turkey.
This vote that took the name “National Oath or National Pact”, was published on the 12th of February 1920 and assumed as Turkish territory the whole of Thrace, so apart from the east part it included the west that belongs to Greece and the north that belongs to Bulgaria, Dodecanese, Cyprus, Antioch (modern Antakya in the Turkish province Hatay), northern parts of modern Syrian provinces of Aleppo, Raqqa and Hasakah – in essence the Syrian Kurdistan – the whole of North Iraq – that is the Iraqi Kurdistan – the provinces of Mosul and Kirkuk, part of the Iranian province of the West Azerbaijan, the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic on the east of Armenia and Adjara (the Autonomous Republic of Adjara) of Georgia.
In 1923 the Turkish diplomats in Lausanne negotiated having in mind the map of the Turkish National Pact (Oath). In the end, they compromised for less and signed the Treaty of Lausanne, which they keep violating deliberately from the first moment, trying to expand their borders up to where they have set them themselves in 1920.
The Turkish President himself has “confessed” that he applies the “National Oath”, violating all the international treaties. In 2016, Recep Tayyip Erdogan challenged publicly the Treaty of Lausanne making references to the Turkish “National Oath”.
Last year the Center for Strategic Research “New Turkey” published a huge paper of 1450 pages on «Misak-ı Millî». Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrote a text to prologue the publication that has been characterised as his “manifesto”. In this text he flagrantly writes that the Ottoman Parliament declared Misak-ı Millî which is the minimum land that they can accept. The National Assembly that was formed after the creation of the Republic of Turkey fully accepted the national treaty that added to their borders Mosul, Kirkuk, Aleppo, West Thrace, Batumi, Cyprus and some islands. He said that he rejects to imprison their nation that has such a glorified past, in a stagnant historic period that dates not even 100 years. He continued addressing his people by saying that they can understand the interest and the interference of Turkey in what’s going on now in Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Libya, the Balkans and Caucasus, looking back to their glory past. History will give the best response to those who say “what’s Turkey’s business in these parts?” It is obvious, he said, WWI has not ended yet. We will continue the fight and our efforts. The primary goal of our fight is Misak-ı Millî not to be forgotten.
In the end of last March, the Turkish President announced during his speech in Samsun that he is not bound by the made borders of the Treaty of Lausanne and that he starts to mark the borders of Great Turkey, as they are defined by the Turkish “National Oath”, starting with northwest Syria.
He said that they will build Great Turkey no matter what. If necessary, they will give their lives. If necessary, they will take lives. They will not forget the wounds in their hearts created by the made borders that they set (meaning the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923). After Afrin the rise begins, he continued. Those who think that my remarks are bluffs or rhetoric they will see that their misconception is deadly. My statements, he said, reflect the decisiveness of Turkey, the policies of the state and the feelings of the people. We will succeed or we will die, he added while stating during that speech that Idlib and Manbij are to follow. Those who keep insisting under our nose, put a knife to our throat and try to do their business, they should know that we don’t value anyone, was amongst the things he also said.
In the end of August, the Turkish President committed to bring “peace and safety” in Iraq and parts of Syria that are not under Turkish control, confirming that the “terrorist groups” (meaning the Kurds) in this area will be eliminated. During a speech at the province of Mus in southeast Turkey, Erdogan said that the attacks that his country is facing on an economic level are similar with previous attempts to invade Asia Minor, warning that something like that would lead to the collapse of the surrounding areas too.
“Don’t forget, Anatolia is a wall and if this wall collapses, there will no longer be a Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, Balkans or Caucasus.”, he said.
Since the 24 August 2016 and up to this day the Turkish troops have invaded twice into Syria (“Euphrates Shield” and “Operation Olive Branch”) aiming the Syrian Kurds along the borders and have placed approximately twelve military outposts along the province of Idlib.
During his speech for the anniversary of the Battle of Manzikert, 1071, Erdogan said that he will bring peace and safety in Syria and Iraq.
“It is not for nothing that the only places in Syria where security and peace have been established are under Turkey’s control. God willing, we will establish the same peace in other parts of Syria too. God willing, we will bring the same peace to Iraq, where terrorist organizations are active,” he said.
Turkey is fulfilling the “National Oath” that is against the Treaty of Lausanne, gaining land with the “trick” of the self-declared states. Alexandretta and Antioch, Hatay province, were cut off Syria and incorporated to Turkey with the disputed referendum of 1939. Syria continues up to this day to consider the Hatay province Syrian soil.
In 1974, the Turks occupied north Cyprus where they declared on the 15 November 1983 the Turkish Cypriot self-declared state.
Now the occupation of Northern Syria is under way. Already the Turkish army occupies the north of Aleppo and controls along with the jihadists the province of Idlib. As soon as they occupy the whole of Northern Syria, they will establish one more self-declared state that will function as Turkish protectorate with a Turkish occupation army protecting it, like in North Cyprus. After that it is not clear what is next, north Iraq or they will turn west, meaning Greece, with Thrace as their first target.
For that reason, the modern Ottoman plans of Recep Tayyip Erdogan must be defeated in Northern Syria and the west world must defend not only the freedom of the Syrian people and Iraq but the Treaty of Lausanne itself. In the opposite case, if the Turks are allowed to occupy Northern Syria eliminating the Kurdish socialists, the Balkans are next, with Greece and Bulgaria being led to a military confrontation with Turkey.
That would mean not only the end of NATO but the end of the European Union too. It is vital that the Kurds in Syria win, as a front for the West in the area. Otherwise, the fire that Erdogan put there will reach within the next decade or sooner outside our doors.