A recent remark by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the reason behind Turkey’s military presence in Syria has surprised the Russian authorities who have supported Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the fight against foreign-backed militancy in the Arab country. Speaking at the first Inter-Parliamentary Jerusalem Platform Symposium in Istanbul, President Erdogan said that Turkish troops have entered Syria to end the rule of President Assad. The Turkish president claimed Ankara is seeking to restore justice to the neighboring Arab nation.
Catherine Shakdam, director of the Shafaqna Institute for Middle East Studies, told Press TV’s Top 5 that President Erdogan is resorting to interventionist policies in neighboring states to pave the ground for reestablishing the Ottoman Empire.
Shakdam said that the recent remarks by the Turkish president on his country’s military presence in Syria shed light on the fact that Erdogan is “an imperialistic president and wants to be an Ottoman ruler.”
“What Turkey seems to want is building an empire in the Middle East and it wants to colonize and annex Syria,” she noted, adding that Ankara “doesn’t care about the Syrian people and what the Syrian people want.”
The analyst went on to say that the Turkish president is not in a position “to actually pass judgment on the Syrian government and how the Syrian people ought to be ruled,” because President Assad was democratically elected and therefore no one has the right to challenge his legitimacy to rule Syria.
“As long as President Erdogan is ruling Turkey, I don’t think, Turkey can be trusted as a true friend and as a true committed partner when it comes to ensuring stability in the Middle East,” she warned.
Since the Turkish government has been a promoter of “Wahhabism and fanaticism” across the Middle East, “President Erdogan should learn to think before he talks” about other countries, the analyst noted.
Turkish troops entered Syrian territories on August 24 to launch Operation Euphrates Shield allegedly to retake areas seized by Daesh.