Erdogan’s aggressive nationalism is now spilling over Turkey’s borders, grabbing land in Greece and Iraq.
In the past few weeks, a conflict between Ankara and Baghdad over Turkey’s role in the liberation of Mosul has precipitated an alarming burst of Turkish irredentism. President Erdogan criticized the Treaty of Lausanne, which created the borders of modern Turkey, for leaving the country too small. Turkey won’t be annexing part of Iraq anytime soon, but this combination of irredentist cartography and rhetoric nonetheless offers some insight into Turkey’s current foreign and domestic policies and Ankara’s self-image. The military interventions and confrontational rhetoric this nationalism inspires may worsen Turkey’s security and regional standing.