Sipping his ouzo at a café in Athens on a warm afternoon in 2004, a Greek diplomat friend smiled and said:
“You are wrong about Erdogan. He will reform Turkey’s democratic culture, align it with the European Union, strengthen its ties with NATO and pursue a pro-peace policy in this part of the world. Meanwhile he will crush the secular army establishment and Turkey will no longer be a threat to any of its neighbors.”
I said: “Let us see how your Islamist friend [Erdogan] behaves after crushing the secular establishment.”
Twelve years later, I still enjoy our peaceful ouzo sessions with the same Greek friend. But things do not look equally peaceful between Turkey and its neighbors, including Greece.
Speaking at a public rally on October 22, President Erdogan said that “We did not accept our borders voluntarily.” He went on to say, “At the time [when the current borders were drawn] we may have agreed to it but the real mistake is to surrender to that sacrifice.” What does all that mean?
On October 19, Erdogan spoke of Turkey being constrained by foreign powers who “aim to make us forget our Ottoman and Seldjuk history,” when Turkey’s forefathers held territory stretching across Central Asia and the Middle East. His words came at a time when pro-government media was publishing maps depicting Ottoman borders encompassing an area that included Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul, a former Ottoman province.
CONTINUE reading here: https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/9254/erdogan-irredentism