When the Ottoman Empire disintegrated at the end of World War I, Great Britain and France rushed to fulfill their long-awaited aspirations in the Middle East.
After the end of the 400-year-long Ottoman rule, the Middle East was dragged into an era of political instability, wars, military occupations and civil wars that continues to this day.
While Italy colonized several countries in North Africa, France and Great Britain seized areas in the Middle East, with the latter taking the lion's share.
A wave of independence movements began after the end of World War II, which concluded with the establishment of new states.
Unfortunately, most of the newly established governments soon became the puppet rulers of the neocolonial order, which focused on the exploitation of the natural resources of these countries.
Meanwhile, the hegemony of the United Kingdom was replaced with that of the United States.
Whenever a significant proportion of capital was accumulated in the Middle East, the neocolonial powers succeeded to retrieve this accumulated capital by inciting regional wars.
In the 1970s, Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia accumulated an extraordinary proportion of capital due to the oil crisis, while their economies achieved incredible growth rates.
However, a decadelong war between Iran and Iraq after the 1979 Iranian Revolution devastated the economy of these countries.
Spending almost $500 billion, the Iranian government transferred its national wealth to global arms cartels. Iraq was supported by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries, the rivals of Iran. To provide arms aid to Iraq, Saudi Arabia spent $600 billion, while other Gulf countries spent $400 billion.
By the time the Iranian-Iraqi war ended, both of these countries had already exhausted their material and human resources.
Despite their lavish support for Iraq, the Gulf countries still held a significant proportion of capital, while Iraq had turned into a giant market for arms worth $1 trillion.
In this historical conjecture, Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait was an unexpected turn of events. International relations experts discussed the political controversy about the incitement of this occupation by the U.S. embassy in Iraq.
In the Iranian-Iraqi war, the U.S. promised to protect the Gulf countries against the radical regime of Iran via Iraq.
In the First Gulf War, they promised to protect the Gulf countries against Iraqi expansionism. The U.S. administration announced the cost of this protection in a meeting in Saudi Arabia: $400 billion for Saudis and $300 billion for other Gulf countries.
During this period, Kuwait was one of the wealthiest countries in the world. However, after the end of the war, it wasn't left with much, as most of its wealth had been spent on gaining U.S. protection.
In the upcoming years, Iraq was occupied twice, first by the U.S. and then by Iran. Putting an end to the Iranian occupation of Iraq is proving to be more difficult than the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Iraqi lands.
Apart from the expansionist policies of the Iranian regime, religious and sectarian conflicts pose a great threat to peace and stability in the Middle East.
Recently, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi visited Ankara. The prime minister realized the importance of Turkey being the only emerging power that wishes to maintain Iraq's territorial integrity but also has sincere aspirations for the consolidation of political stability in the region as a whole.
Today, a peace pact in the Middle East appears to be an urgent necessity, which could only be established under the leadership of Turkey, a country with a centuries-old state tradition and cultural and religious ties with the region.
As 14th-century great Muslim thinker Ibn Khaldun claimed that “the past resembles the future as one drop of water another," Turkey’s future will resemble its Ottoman past.