Turkey May Have Stepped Into Its Own 'Endless War' in Syria

Oct 25, 2019 | 10:00 GMT

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is pictured here during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia, on Oct. 22, 2019.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to deploy joint Russian-Turkish patrols in the so-called security zone Erdogan has ordered Syrian Kurds to evacuate.

(SEFA KARACAN/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)


  • Since its emergence as a republic after World War I, Turkey has largely considered it futile to intervene in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's involvement in Syria reverses that outlook.
  • Erdogan's decision to expand Turkey's military occupation in Syria has prompted international outrage, but the action is widely popular in Turkey.
  • Turkey has much to gain if its incursion into Syria succeeds, but it also has much to lose. Turkish history provides a warning: Offensives that start well can end badly.

Turkish President Erdogan has gradually pushed his country's forces into Syria over the past few years. Now, like others before him, he may find it hard to leave....

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