Neo-Ottoman expansionism beyond the borders of modern Turkey: Erdoğan’s foreign policy ambitions in Syria and the Mediterranean

  • Peter Seeberg University of Southern Denmark


The article looks at two aspects of the activist Turkish foreign policy and its attempts at reconfiguring Mediterranean politics. The first is the incursion into north-eastern Syria in October 2019 with the ambitions of prohibiting a permanent existence of an autonomous Kurdish entity in Syria and, in a wider perspective, seeking to strengthen the Turkish role in determining the future of Syria. The second aspect is the Turkish intervention in 2020 in the Libyan civil war, and – in connection with that – the agreement on maritime boundaries between Turkey and the UN-initiated government in Tripoli with Fayez al-Sarraj in charge of the Government of National Accord. A main interest related to this is for Turkey to gain access to offshore resources in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, thereby strengthening Turkey’s position in the regional competition over dominance in the Mediterranean

Keywords: Turkey, neo-Ottomanism, in-between spaces, Syria, the Mediterranean