28/11/2012

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

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

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

10/11/2012

The Turkish dream: reoccupation of Syria

Exercise Mavi Balina 2012 kicks off in Turkey

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United States European Command
November 5, 2012

NAPLES, Italy: The tri-lateral training Exercise Mavi Balina 2012 (MB12) kicked off in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Turkey, Nov. 5.

Mavi Balina is an invitational maritime exercise, hosted by Turkey, which focuses on providing realistic operational training in surface and submarine warfare for units and staffs of Turkish, Pakistani and U.S. Naval Forces, as well as promotes friendship, mutual understanding and cooperation.

Training with other military forces enhances mutual awareness and the maritime capability of international partners. Mavi Balina helps create an environment that promotes maritime safety and security, and interoperability between the participating nations.

Participating U.S. Naval Forces are the guided-missile destroyer USS Forrest Sherman (DDG 98) and an aircraft from Patrol Squadron (VP) 9.

U.S. 6th Fleet, headquartered in Naples, Italy, conducts a full range of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation missions in concert with coalition, joint, interagency and other parties in order to advance security and stability in Europe and Africa.

http://rickrozoff.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/turkey-host-nation-u-s-pakistan-conduct-naval-exercise/

Photo: Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, the most believed puppet of Hillary Clinton.