18/02/2013

War on Syria: Turkey's Middle East policy

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The war on Syria and the Turkish dream of a neo-Ottoman Empire.

In 2012, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu declared that Turkey would be the 'owner, pioneer and servant of the post-Arab Spring Middle East'.

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Short History

Syria was part of the Ottoman Empire from the 16th through 20th centuries. After the division of Rome into the Eastern and Western empires in the 4th century, Syria came under Byzantine rule. By the late 11th century, the Seljuk Turks had captured most of Syria.

In 1798–99, Napoleon I of France invaded Egypt and also briefly held parts of the Syrian coast. In 1832–33, Ibrahim Pasha, the son of Muhammad Ali of Egypt, annexed Syria to Egypt. Egypt held Syria until 1840, when the European powers (particularly Great Britain) forced its return to the Ottomans.

During World War I the British encouraged Syrian nationalists to fight against the Ottoman Empire. The ambitions of the nationalists were thwarted in the peace settlement, which gave (1920) France a League of Nations mandate over the Levant States (roughly present-day Syria and Lebanon). From this time the term Syria referred approximately to its present territorial extent. France divided Syria into three administrative districts on the pretext that political decentralization would safeguard the rights of minorities. The Arab nationalists angrily asserted that decentralization was also a means of maintaining French control by a divide-and-rule policy.

The French made some concessions after serious disturbances in 1925, which included a rebellion by the Druze and the French bombardment of Damascus. Lebanon was made a completely separate state in 1926, and after long negotiations a treaty was signed (1936) giving Syria a large measure of autonomy. Anti-French feeling continued as a result of the cession of the sanjak of Alexandretta (see Hatay) to Turkey, completed in 1939. In the same year the French suspended the Syrian constitution, and in World War II they garrisoned Syria with a large number of troops, most of whom, after the fall of France in June, 1940, declared loyalty to the Vichy government. Relations with Great Britain deteriorated, and when it was discovered that Syrian airfields had been used by German planes en route to Iraq, British and Free French forces invaded and occupied Syria in June, 1941.

The French proclaimed the creation of an independent Syrian republic in Sept., 1941, and an independent Lebanese republic in Nov., 1941. In 1943, Shukri al-Kuwatli was elected president of Syria, and on Jan. 1, 1944, the country achieved complete independence. However, the continued presence of French troops in Syria caused increasing friction and bloodshed and strained Anglo-French relations. It was not until Apr., 1946, that all foreign troops were withdrawn from the country. In 1945, Syria had become a charter member of the United Nations.

http://www.infoplease.com/encyclopedia/world/syria-history.html

Turkey's Middle East Policy: Too Ambitious?

http://www.chathamhouse.org/media/comment/view/185833

11/11/2012

Middle East on fire: Israel fires warning shots at Syria

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Turkish Prime minister Erdogan and Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu who said that 'a new Middle East is about to be born and that Turkey will be the owner, pioneer and the servant of this new Middle East', are for a large part responsible for the military escalation that puts the Middle East on fire.

Permanent members of the UN Security Council as Turkey who have launched wars under the excuse of combating terrorism are now supporting terrorism in Syria...

09/08/2012

Middle East on fire: Egypt troops move into Israel border zone

Today - AL-ARISH, Egypt (Reuters) - Gunman fired shots towards a police station in the main administrative centre of Egypt's North Sinai on Thursday, underscoring lawlessness in the desert region bordering Israel as a Egyptian military offensive there entered its second day.

Hundreds of troops in armored cars drove out of the town to hunt Islamist militants blamed for killing 16 Egyptian border guards on Sunday, the biggest spike in violence which has been growing steadily since last year's overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.

The gunfire in al-Arish, the nerve centre of the government's otherwise shaky control of the North Sinai region, showed how difficult it will be for Egypt to impose order. It followed attacks on checkpoints in the town on Wednesday.

Israel has welcomed Egypt's offensive while continuing to express worries about the deteriorating situation in Sinai, home to anti-Israel militants, Bedouin tribes angered by neglect by Cairo, gun-runners, drug smugglers and al Qaeda sympathizers.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Egypt was acting "to an extent and with a determination that I cannot previously recall".

"Whether this ends with (their) regained control of Sinai and allows us not to worry as much as we have in the past few months, this I do not know," he told Israel Radio.

The unidentified gunmen in al-Arish fled before police could respond, a security source said, denying a report by state television that police had fought back.

Hundreds of troops and dozens of military vehicles had reached the town, security sources said, part of an offensive not seen since Egypt's 1973 war with Israel.


http://news.yahoo.com/egyptian-police-clash-armed-men-nor...

 

Photo: killings in Libya