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Is Erdogan Planning a Full-Fledged Turkish Occupation of Northern Syria?

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French politician Nicolas Dhuicq believes that the Turkish government may be attempting to carry out a campaign which amounts to an indirect form of ethnic cleansing in northern Syria, resettling abandoned villages in the north of the country with Turkic-speaking peoples.

 Speaking with Radio Sputnik France on Tuesday, Dhuicq, an MP in the French National Assembly and a member of the legislative body’s Defense Commission, said that he thinks “that Mr. Erdogan seeks, like the Ottoman Empire did before him, to move people and resettle several villages in northern Syria with Turkic-speaking peoples.”

The MP explained that he has access to information which leads him to believe that “these villages, abandoned by Syrians, will be settled by Uighurs from China.”

“I think that Mr. Erdogan is pursuing a policy aimed at the reconstruction of the Ottoman Empire,” Dhuicq warned.

“He is investing heavily in Iraqi Kurdistan, aiming to take possession of its oil, as Turkey has no oil of its own. Mr. Erdogan is gunning down Syrian and Turkish Kurds. He is moving Turkic-speaking peoples to northern Syria. He is interested in seeing the distraction of ISIL, Al-Nusra or whatever else you want to call it, playing out in the center of Syria and Iraq.”

Troops parade with Turkish flag on August 30, 2013 in Ankara during celebrations for the 91st anniversary of Victory Day, with ceremonies held at Ataturk's Mausoleum known as Anitkabir in Ankara, Turkey

Ultimately, the politician said, “Mr. Erdogan is playing a very dangerous game. Unfortunately, [Western governments] have turned a blind eye to his extremely sharp rhetoric.”Asked to comment on the anti-ISIL coalition’s ostensible military goals of cutting off ISIL’s oil revenue, Dhuicq emphasized that “the military goal is very simple –it’s aim must be to close the northern border of Syria, to block off supply channels. We [the members of the French National Assembly’s Defense Commission] spoke about this with our Commander in Chief, [President Francois Hollande].”