TURKEY’S RHETORIC ON MOSUL RELATED TO SECURITY CONCERNS: EXPERTS

ANKARA, Turkey, - The reason why Turkey insists on participating in the battle to free Mosul, from the militants, in addition to Turkish president's declared nostalgia for the Ottoman dominion, is that, the country has security concerns about the terror threats and mass migration it may face, local experts say.

The president's comments are not simply an "Ottoman nostalgia," but a reflection on the possible security outcome of the Mosul operations in Iraq, Serhat Erkmen, an associate professor from 21st Century Turkey Institute told Xinhua.

"We will be in the field and at the table. Our preparations are underway," Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, on Oct 17, referring to the current Mosul battle.

He cited "Misaki Milli," a document adopted by the Turkish parliament in 1920, that claimed Mosul as part of modern Turkey. Mosul was once part of the Ottoman Empire.

Erkmen said, Erdogan recalled Turkish "historical responsibility" in Mosul, to raise public awareness about the battle and pursue international legitimacy for the country's participation in it.

"Turkey will not remain a spectator on issues that threaten its security," the president said.

Turkish leaders are worried about the power vacuum in its neighbouring country and the possible influx of refugees, during and after, the battle in Mosul, said Erkmen.

Consequently, Turkey will be "at the table" in Mosul, despite no invitation from the Iraqi government or the coalition forces, since the coalition forces cannot act in Iraq, without the role of neighbouring countries, he added.

Bilgay Duman, a Middle East expert from the Centre for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies, agreed that, who will rule the province after the battle, is what worries Ankara.

Turkey is concerned that the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), the Daesh militants, or other terror groups may take advantage of such power vacuum, the expert said.

Duman said, the PKK took hold of Sinjar, after the northern Iraqi town was cleared of Daesh militants in late 2015, due to the inability of the Iraqi government to control it.

Last week, the Iraqi army, backed by the U.S.-led coalition air strikes, launched a much-anticipated military offensive to retake Mosul, which was overrun by the Daesh in 2014.

Source: Nam News Network