In the past few weeks, a conflict between Ankara and Baghdad over Turkey’s role in the liberation of Mosul has precipitated an alarming burst of Turkish irredentism. On two separate occasions, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized the Treaty of Lausanne, which created the borders of modern Turkey, for leaving the country too small. He spoke of the country’s interest in the fate of Turkish minorities living beyond these borders, as well as its historic claims to the Iraqi city of Mosul, near which Turkey has a small military base. And, alongside news of Turkish jets bombing Kurdish forces in Syria and engaging in mock dogfights with Greek planes over the Aegean Sea, Turkey’s pro-government media have shown a newfound interest in a series of imprecise, even crudely drawn, maps of Turkey with new and improved borders.

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Time For Truth: (Foreign Policy) – Turkey’s New Maps Are Reclaiming the Ottoman Empire

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In 1918, the European powers no longer wished to preserve the Ottoman Empire, so they agreed to carve it up into spheres of influence. But they had very different perceptions of how the region should look. Britain believed in Arab nationalism as a future ally and saw the Middle East as “the Arab world”: a united strategic zone straddling the passage to India.

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