Always beware of any leaders with an over bloated sense of purpose.
A clue bat for the DailyMail team, we are already in a world war, with islam, any conflagration between these two state would be only adding to conflict at large.
The Sultan and the Tsar: Will the imperial ambitions of Russia’s Putin and Turkey’s Erdogan spark a new World War, asks historian MICHAEL BURLEIGH
Syria is now the battleground for a proxy war between two regional powers, Russia or Turkey, or more particularly between their ego-fuelled presidents: Recep Erdogan (R) and Vladimir Putin (L)
There is no end in sight to the disaster unfolding in the vast refugee camps of Jordan and Turkey, among the 60,000 terrified civilians massing on the Syrian border and on Europe’s corpse-strewn Aegean shoreline.
Far from it. Last week, Syria’s Bashar al-Assad promised to wage war until he had regained every inch of the country. Few believe that plans for an American-backed peace deal can hold. Early indications suggest that the migrant crisis in Europe will be many times worse this year than last.
Entire towns have been laid waste during Syria’s five-year civil war. Up to half a million people on all sides have been killed. Millions are either internally displaced, or worse, languishing in desperate foreign holding centres.
But all this cannot be blamed only on the murderous advance of Islamic State, Assad’s brutality, or the rebels who wish to depose him. Syria is now the battleground for a proxy war between two regional powers, Russia and Turkey, or more particularly between their ego-fuelled presidents: Recep Erdogan and Vladimir Putin. Or, if you like, between the Sultan and the Tsar.
These two men, driven by their own imperial ambitions, have no intention of seeking peace in Syria, except on their own terms. It is already an international conflict sucking in fighters from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Chechnya and Pakistan, plus Shia from Iraq and Lebanon, and now it threatens to drag in Nato. It is no exaggeration to say the conflict has the potential to become a Third World War.
So it is that the refugees have become a weapon in their own right – a crisis the combatants are relentlessly fuelling in the hope of coercing Western governments into supporting one side or the other.
For its part, Turkey feels it is fighting a battle of survival. It wants to prevent the Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq from joining with its own Kurdish population to create their own state – which would mean the dismemberment of Turkey.
But Erdogan is also keen to see the removal of Assad, with whom Turkey has major complaints about water resources. So Turkey has allowed foreign jihadis (including from Britain) to cross into Syria to fight with the Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and IS.
Erdogan has 10,000 troops trying to suppress a Kurdish insurgency led by the Marxist PKK (supported by Assad) in eastern Turkey, which is next to the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq. The Turks also want to protect 100,000 ethnic Turkmen in Syria who are also opposed to Assad.