Personally, speaking. The answer to the above question: Is Turkey likely to annex the Syrian territory it now controls? No.
It's doubtful Turkey needs the extra headache that would be had by annexing this territory. Way more probable is they will cooperate with Russia and Iran, as they have so far, in this regard and respect the sovereignty of Syria.
I do think they will attempt to wield influence in the region, but, they won’t claim the land as their own.
The one factor that may change this outcome, just my opinion, is the way Bashar Assad handles and what happens with the territory that has been all but officially annexed by the American/PKK occupiers.
A regular survey of experts on matters relating to Middle Eastern and North African politics and security.Oh and pay attention to some startling admissions from those that should know. They have access to privileged information.
1-Kemal Kirisci | Senior fellow and director of the Center on the United States and Europe’s Turkey Project at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.
I strongly doubt it. Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, before his death, is reputed to have instructed his chief diplomat Numan Menemencioglu not to get involved in the internal affairs of neighboring countries and to stay away from irredentist military adventures. These instructions kept Turkey away from the calamity of World War II and also constituted the reason why, in 1990, the then-military chief of staff, General Necip Torumtay, resigned in protest against prime minister Turgut Özal’s ambition to join the U.S. intervention against Saddam Hussein’s forces, which had invaded Kuwait. In Turkey, it is generally recognized that similar instincts are what pushed the Turkish military to resist their political masters’ pressures to intervene in Syria, until their traditional influence was decimated by the failed July 2016 coup attempt.
Since then, Turkey’s Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations have been driven primarily by domestic political considerations.
The policy aims to achieve three goals: prevent the Syrian Kurds led by the Democratic Union Party from constituting an independent state or autonomous region along the length of the Turkish border; shape the new Syria, or at least a corner of it, to suit his political preferences; and create circumstances for the return of some of 3.5 million Syrian refugees,
2-Gönül Tol | Director of the Center for Turkish Studies at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C., adjunct professor at the George Washington University’s Institute for Middle East Studies
Critics accuse Ankara of neocolonial ambitions in northern Syria. On the surface, they may have a point. In the territories Turkey captured from the Islamic State, students learn Turkish and Turkish administrators run hospitals. Turkish signposts, Turkish-trained police forces, and Turkish-built post offices all point to Turkey’s deepening role. The Turkish military has a reputation of remaining in the territories in which it intervenes outside its borders, but it might find it tougher this time. The Turkish military incursion into northern Syria was made possible thanks to a Russian green light. However, in the long term, not Russia, the Assad regime, or Iran are likely to tolerate Turkey’s military presence there.
I wrote at length about the Russian green light for Turkey to move into Syria. For all Turkish operations in Syria. Turkey and Russia cooperated on the moves into Syria.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is certainly seeking to enhance Turkey’s sphere of influence in northern Syria, but calling it “neo-Ottoman” is misleading. The original use of the term “neo-Ottomanism” implies a post-nationalist vision at peace with Turkey’s multiethnic identity...Mr Tol doesn't think Turkey is there to stay
3-Henri J. Barkey | Professor of international relations at Lehigh University, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign RelationsHenri J Barkey- the man who had a hand in the attempted coup and assassination of Erdogan. A Turkish Jew as well. ( Shocked, right?) Wonder where his loyalty really lies?
Turkey’s occupation of northern Syria will not be permanent. It will, however, continue until such time as there is real progress toward a solution to the Syrian civil war and the costs associated with it become prohibitive.
4-Marc Pierini | Visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe, Brussels
It is hard to conceive that Turkey would end up annexing the Afrin and Jarablus districts it now controls, despite the occasional reference to Ottoman times. Rather, Ankara seems intent on continuing to occupy these territories, first to exert military control and replace the previous dominance of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, and second to engineer political change in order to make sure local structures are in line with its policies. As long as such actions suit Moscow, they will unfold relatively smoothly.
What are your thoughts?
The real issue is what will happen in Manbij and east of the Euphrates River, where U.S. forces are present alongside the Syrian Kurds. Nobody can be sure. Ankara’s fierce statements are geared at domestic politics. Washington is fluctuating between a reinforced military presence and a complete withdrawal. Moscow has given political guarantees to Syria’s Kurds since September 2015. And some European Union countries (France is one) are keen to preserve the Syrian Kurdish identity. There is no easy way forward.