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September 25 might mark a significant turning point in Turko-Iranian relations

Reader comment on item: Iran vs. Turkey, the MidEast's Perpetual Rivalry
in response to reader comment: I expect the two countries to ally with one another soon, with Turkey in the lead, for an attack against Israel.

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Sep 17, 2017 at 04:25

Hello, Daniel.

You said,

"You are right that during much of the twentieth century, the Iranian and Turkish governments got along. Neither had imperialist objectives. Now, as in the Safavid and Ottoman days, they do."

Just to recap some history, working backwards:

1. The Ottoman Empire was broken up by the Allies during World War I. This inserted the British between the Ottomans and Persians, in what is now Iraq -- in particular, in what is now Iraqi Kurdistan.

2. In 1515, the rapidly expanding Ottomans took what is now Iraq from Persia. This was actually a conquest of Turks by Turks, as Persia at that time was ruled by the White Sheep Turks. A year later, they conquered Egypt and the Levant (including modern Israel). They retained control of those areas for 400 years.

3. Just before 1467, the Black Sheep Turks controlled modern Iraqk Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kurdistan and western Iran. Eastern Persia was in the hands of the declining Turko-Mongol Empire of Tamerlaine. Egypt was controlled by Turkish Mamlukes; and Turkey was split into competing Turkish kingdoms. In 1467, the White Shee Turks from Turkey defeated the Black Sheep Turks. The Ottomans controlled western Turkey and part of the Balkans. The Persians controlled nothing.

4. During the 1200s, much of Central Asia, all of Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and eastern Turkey were controlled by the Mongol Khanate of Persia. Turkish Mamlukes ruled in Egypt. The Persians, who today rule Iran, controlled nothing.

5. In 1174, a Kurd, Saladin, took over the Turkish Zangid Sultanate that controlled modern Armenia, Kurdistan, Syria, the Levant, Egypt and eastern Libya. He would later fall to the Mongol hordes. The Persians controlled nothing.

6. In 1037, the Ghaznavid Turks were defeated by the Seljuk Turks, who proceeded to take over much of the Middle East and Central Asia. Byzantine Greeks controlled Turkey, Berber Fatimids controlled Egypt and the Levant, and the Persians controlled nothing.

If Modern and Late Medieval History teach us anything, it is that the Turks are accustomed to ruling not just Turkey, but also Egypt, the Levant, Iraq, Iran and Central Asia; and the Iranian Persians have done well at times to even control Iran. The days of Persian glory were before the time of the Roman Empire. Even today, Iran is weaker than Turkey and could plausibly become dependent on her (between Turkey and Iran, the latter is more politically unstable). On the other hand, there are some significant factors drawing Turkey and Iran together, not the least of which are their mutual hatred of Israel and of the Kurds.

On September 25, the Kurdish Autonomous Region of Iraq is scheduled to have a referendum about Kurdish independence. The Turks and Iranians are fiercely against it; and it is also opposed by the US, Russia and most of the world powers. Significantly, ONLY ISRAEL supports it. It may become the touchstone of Turko-Iranian, anti-Israel cooperation -- the prelude to Ezekiel 38-39.
3.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (8) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
regimes in Iran and Turkey [53 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Debanjan BanerjeeOct 7, 2017 12:08241015
Possible war imminent in Kurdistan -- ultimately agaist Israel [53 words]Michael SSep 28, 2017 18:36240945
1Thinking Out of the Box - Devolution, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Etc. [849 words]RobertSep 27, 2017 12:57240926
I expect the two countries to ally with one another soon, with Turkey in the lead, for an attack against Israel. [114 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Michael SAug 25, 2017 03:34240591
September 25 might mark a significant turning point in Turko-Iranian relations [495 words]Michael SSep 17, 2017 04:25240591
Great Minds Apparently Think Alike [112 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Michael RosenbergAug 23, 2017 22:31240582
Don't cry for either of them - they both hate us! [68 words]DeanAug 23, 2017 14:18240580
Iran Vs. Turkey [143 words]Lorn FergusonAug 23, 2017 11:22240578

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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