The Global Blueprint For Neo-Ottomanism: Opportunities And Challenges: Part III
The Afro-Eurasian blueprint for Neo-Ottomanism was revealed in the previous two parts of this research, so now the work will take a turn towards examining the opportunities and challenges that could realistically impact on Turkey’s forthcoming Great Power expansion and strategic plans. In order to make this as easy as possible for the reader to go through, the following information will be organized in any given order according to bullet points that summarize each main concept and then briefly elaborate a bit more about them:
*The “Federalization” Of Syria:
If the Syrian Arab Republic is carved up into a collection of quasi-independent identity-focused statelets, then it’ll be much easier for Neo-Ottoman Turkey to expand its own potentially forthcoming federalized administrative-political apparatus to incorporate “Syrian Kurdistan” and “Sunnistan”, conditional on the former being run by a KDP-like pro-Turkish leader/party, and the latter achieving cross-border sub-state political connectivity with its co-confessionals in Iraq or expanding to the point of abutting Jordan.
* The “Federalization” Of Cyprus:
Turkey is striving to see to it that the island is reunified through a federal arrangement which would grant the Northern Cypriot statelet influence over the unified country’s economic affairs, which would then allow Ankara to de-facto be able to leverage its influence in gaining a stake in the Eastern Mediterranean Pipeline. If Turkey can become a party to this project – no matter to which indirect degree it is, such as through Northern Cyprus – then it will be able to greatly expand its influence in the entire region and by extent through Greece and Southern/Southeastern Europe as well.
* The Tripartite:
The trilateral strategic coordination between Russia, Turkey, and Iran is advantageous for Ankara in this context because it preserves stable relations with Tehran and improves the chances that an Iran-Turkey pipeline could one day be commissioned. This is still a very distant prospect, however, but it’s nevertheless important for Turkey to safeguard this route in order to leave open the possibility of receiving Turkmen gas via Iran and then re-exporting it to the EU via TANAP and/or Nabucco.
* Syrian Resistance:
If the patriots continue to resist the War of Terror on Syria and hold out against the dangerously real de-facto “federalization” of their country (whether as part of an intentional or inadvertent consequence of the conflict resolution process), then this would throw a wrench into Turkey’s Neo-Ottoman plans by drastically diminishing the possibility that “Syrian Kurdistan” and “Sunnistan” would be swallowed up by a revived and federalized Caliphate. It would also make it so that the only hope for building the Qatar-Turkey pipeline would rest with Iraq and via transit across “Iraqi Kurdistan” and its version of “Sunnistan”, though this could be disrupted by pro-Iranian Shiite forces if Turkish-Iranian relations begin to sour.
* The Tripartite Falls Apart:
Turkey’s American and “Israeli” allies are pressuring it to break ranks with Iran and force Russia into a choice between Ankara and Tehran, of which it’s widely expected that Moscow would side with Ankara when it comes to Syria while still retaining moderately positive relations with Tehran in general.
Any sort of substantial step in this direction would destroy the likelihood of an Iran-Turkey pipeline to feed into TANP and/or Nabucco, though Ankara might figure that this could be an ‘acceptable sacrifice’ if it believes that the PKK Insurgency might take a long time to totally quell anyhow.
It might also be nudged in this direction if a deal is made between Ankara, Washington, and Tel Aviv to guarantee Turkey’s de-facto participation in the Eastern Mediterranean Pipeline as compensation, with the US and “Israel” promising to push Nicosia to accept the federalization of the island which would enable this.
* “Sunni Civil/Cold War”:
Identified as a scenario nearly half a year ago in a previous piece of research, the author believes that there’s a chance that Turkey and Saudi Arabia could become rivals for MENA’s Sunnis, though this eventuality seems less likely nowadays after Erdogan’s latest visit to the Gulf and the negative trend in Turkish-Iranian relations.
In the event that a strategic dilemma develops between both of them, potentially relating to Ankara’s patronage of the Muslim Brotherhood and Doha’s subversive utilization of its shared proxy against Riyadh, then the two Great Powers might enter into unfriendly competition with one another that could possibly see the Saudis dispatching Wahhabi jihadis against Turkey.
* Nagorno-Karabakh Re-Erupts:
If a Continuation War occurs in Nagorno-Karabakh, possibly started by “EuroMaidan”-like Armenian nationalists which seize power in Yerevan sometime in the future, then it would run the risk of prompting a Russian-Turkish crisis over the two sides’ contradictory mutual security obligations to Armenia and Azerbaijan, respectively. Moreover, the Armenians might damage the BTC Pipeline to the extent that it might take an indefinitely long period of time to eventually fix, which would totally undermine Turkey’s Neo-Ottoman ambitions in trying to become an energy crossroads superpower.
* The Constitutional Amendments Fail:
Overlooked amidst the grander scenarios being presented in this section, if the Turkish people reject Erdogan’s proposed constitutional amendments for enacting a strong presidential system in the country, then it would instantly stop internal/domestic Neo-Ottomanism and prompt the government to scrambling in finding other ways for bringing this about. Although seemingly unlikely, it can’t be ruled out that this won’t happen.
* Coup And Civil War:
If the US manages to do the supposedly impossible and pulls off a coup against Erdogan, then the country would probably enter into civil war as the Islamists fight against the Secularists and the whole Neo-Ottoman project suddenly unravels. There seems to be no way that Erodgan’s supporters would allow a coup government to undo the perceived progress that their leader has made over the past decade, and the subsequent conflict would fundamentally transform every level of Turkish society.
On a related tangent, if the PKK Insurgency intensifies and gets wildly out of control, this would both prevent the future construction of an Iran-Turkey pipeline and also send destabilizing shocks all throughout the country which could dangerously reverberate in unimaginable ways, thereby further undermining the state and potentially contributing to the abovementioned civil war scenario.
* Somali Mission Creep:
Although not too important of a factor in the grand scheme of things, Turkey needs to avoid having its Somalian base become the target of different terrorist groups, as this might pull Ankara deeper into the decades-long quagmire in the country.
However, considering that there are reports that Turkish-ally Qatar holds powerful influence over Al Shabaab, this is unlikely except in the event that Daesh takes over parts of the country and carries out these attacks instead.
In that case, Turkey and its Somalian hosts might feel compelled to separate the “good” anti-Daesh Al Shabaab from the “bad” pro-terrorist ones and apparently replicate what seems to be the popular trend in both Syria and Afghanistan vis-à-vis Jaysh Islam and the Taliban, respectively.
* Greek-Turkish War:
The escalation of bilateral tensions to the point of war could prompt a situation whereby neither party is interested in going forward with the TANAP project. If Turkey doesn’t yet have influence on the Eastern Mediterranean Pipeline by that time through the federalization of Cyprus, then Greece will vengefully do everything in its power to prevent this from happening.
There’s a distinct possibility for TANAP to be rerouted through a future Nabucco pipeline, which would still take years to build in any case, but that might also not happen if Sofia sides with Athens out of Orthodox solidarity and/or returns to being under Russian influence to the degree that it objects to any project which could weaken Moscow’s Balkan/Turkish Stream sway over the region.