Making Syria Turkish Domain

Syria was one of the 54 countries that made up the Ottoman Empire which lasted more than six centuries. Syria became an independent country on 17 April 1946. Between 1958 and 1971, it unified with Egypt to become the sovereign United Arab Republic. It did not work. Since then, Syria never gained a steady foothold again as a fruitful Arab state. The West, on top, tried to further fragment this fragile state into smaller pieces. Israel, reportedly, also fantasized to incorporate some or most of it. Nothing came out of it, but something else no one expected became apparent. Suddenly making Syria a Turkish domain again became the most feared reality.

Making Syria A Turkish Domain

A Salvo At A Time

“New Turkey” made three military operations deep inside Syria between 2016 and 2019. They were the first-ever since the breakup of the Ottoman Empire. On top, they became only the initial set of salvos.

In 2016, Turkey initiated Operation Euphrates Shield. It was called Fırat Kalkanı Harekâtı in Turkish. It was a cross-border military operation conducted by the Turkish Armed Forces. Turkey-aligned with the Syrian opposition groups what is commonly known nowadays as the Syrian Civil War. Turkish operations were limited between the Euphrates river to the east and the rebel-held area around Azaz to the west. They culminated in the Turkish occupation of northern Syria.

In 2018, Turkey conducted Operation Olive Branch. Turkish name was Zeytin Dalı Harekâtı. It was another cross-border military operation by the Turkish Armed Forces and Syrian National Army (SNA). Kurdish Afrin District of northwest Syria was the target. It was against the People’s Protection Units (YPG) of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). It ended when the Arab and Turkmen militias of the SNA entered the city.

Idlib Agreement

Six months after the Turkish Olive Branch operation in Afrin, Turkey and Russia reached an agreement. On 17 September 2018, the Russian president Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan agreed. They began creating a buffer zone in the Idlib region of Syria.

The Last of the Three Turkish Military Operations

In 2019, Turkey conducted the last of the three Turkish military operations in Syria. It code-named the operation Peace Spring. In Turkish, it was called Barış Pınarı Harekâtı and it took place in north-eastern Syria. It was a cross-border military operation by the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and the Syrian National Army (SNA). The operation was against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and Syrian Arab Army (SAA). At the time, they were stationed in northern Syria.

Making Syria A Turkish Domain 

The first phase consisted of three Turkish military operations in northern Syria. They were only the beginning salvos.

Making Syria a Turkish domain will surely require additional moves by “New Turkey.” They will consist of numerous other piecemeal politico-military initiatives and they will take a few more years to complete.

When they are done, more of Syria will become a Turkish domain. Turkey will control Syria much beyond the already declared buffer zone.

Meanwhile, Turkey will limit the scope of the second phase of military operations to solidify the said buffer zone.

Pretext for the Second Phase

According to the 22 October 2019 agreement, the Russians and the Syrians were to control the buffer zone.

By 2021, they were yet to clear it from the militia. Hence, a justifiable pretext for Turkey to do the job on its own materialized.

The dispute at the end of 2021 included an area from Euphrates River to Tall Abyad and another from Ras al-Ayn to the Iraq-Syria border.


No one knows but Turkey may very well take aim to take control of the entire zone. It is thirty kilometers (nineteen miles) deep.

For Turkey, the presence of the YPG anywhere in Syria is not acceptable. The YPG, which is making up most of the SDF in Manbij and Tell Rifaat, is even more troubling.

In 2019, Turkey had specifically demanded both towns be freed from the YPG militia.

Basis of the Second Phase

The basis of the second phase can also be interpreted as seeking a renewed “Misaki Milli.”

Ataturk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, officially stated the intent and the fact for the first time on 12 February 1920.

The West, in turn, declared war against Ataturk. Much like the NATO “allies” of modern Turkey would be behaving today.


The war a century ago ended with a catastrophe against the invading Western powers and their cohorts. That is how the Republic of Turkey of today came into being.

Misak-i Milli

The Misak-ı Millî [misaˈkɯ milˈliː] means National Pact or National Oath and is a set of six decisions. The Ottoman Parliament enacted them on 28 January 1920 in one of its final acts.

The Ottoman Minister of Internal Affairs, Damat Ferid Pasha declared that the friends of Ataturk (Mustafa Kemal) established the Felâh-ı Vatan.

The mandate included decisions taken at the Erzurum Congress and the Sivas Congress. Mustafa Kemal then said that “It is the nation’s iron fist that writes the Nation’s Oath.”

The West immediately declared war against Ataturk. The BritishFrench and Italian troops occupied “Constantinople” on 16 March 1920.

To counter them, in Ankara, a new Turkish nationalist parliament was established. The Misak-ı Millî became its backbone.

After the ensuing Treaty of Kars and the recognition of the Republic of Turkey at the Treaty of Lausanne, the world moved on.

Aleppo and Mosul

It is Time to Say Good Bye

A century fast forward, the Misak-ı Millî makes up the current borders of modern Turkey. They came into effect in 1923.

No sooner the foreign policy objectives of the West open the pandora box again. They belligerently supported local militia until a militia came close to claiming a formal status in Syria and then statehood.

As a result, Turkey raised the ante. Nowadays, Aleppo and Mosul present the core of the problem. No one should expect Turkey to stop anymore until the original Misak-i Milli vision of Ataturk is materialized.


Aleppo and Mosul were provinces in the Ottoman Empire. Aleppo Vilayet, together with Zor Sanjak of the Ottoman Empire, makes up what Syria is today. Mosul Vilayet of the Ottomans currently makes up the northern third of Iraq.

Currently, Aleppo is in the hands of the regime in Damascus. Where as the Zor Sanjak is clearly in contention by everyone. That is where the Western backed SDF and YPG, alongside ISIS, are mainly operating.

Cause & Effect

Turkey objects to the presence of militia in sovereign Syria. Rightly so because it is threatening the integrity of the neighboring country. Consequently, it is also presenting a security threat to Turkey proper.

The West should not have supported a militia in a sovereign country. Since it did, all throughout, especially when the Globalists were in power, now it will have to face the music.

To put it another way, the West should not have awakened, the sleeping giant.