Home Page - Gulf in the Media
HomePoliticsEconomy                               Set Gulfinthemedia.com as home page
Opinions
"Postings of opinions published in the Gulf and international newspapers
 Print  Send This Page
Save Listen to this Article
Erdogan Threats as an Alternative to Oglu's Diplomacy?   

Al Hayat - 25 April, 2012
Author: George Semaan

In light of the new wave of tensions between Ankara and Baghdad, Turkey’s eastern gates will no longer be wide open. Indeed, during the last three years, Davutoglu’s diplomacy endured consecutive setbacks and became engaged in an open confrontation on more than one front, from Israel to Russia, to Iran, Iraq and Syria. Hence, it will face decisive choices in parallel to the emergence of the new map of the Greater Middle East, amid the transformations witnessed in the region and both their expected and unexpected repercussions.

Turkey has never found itself in such a sensitive spot. Since 2002, the Justice and Development Party tried to turn it into an unavoidable power between two worlds and a strategic position between the East and the West. It thus resided on contradicting, even conflicting edges, sought rapprochement with Europe without this affecting its solid relations with the United States, and attempted to build strategic partnerships with neighboring states in the Greater Middle East, as well as on the outskirts of the former Soviet Union in Central Asia, including its Muslim states and the Caucasus. It accomplished a lot, from its role in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, to its mediation in the peace process in the Middle East and the Iranian nuclear file. As to its zero-problem policy, it allowed its economy and commerce to prosper and grow at a fast pace, to the point where it appeared that Ankara was no longer in a hurry to meet the European Union conditions to accede to the EU.

Turkey benefited from the dismantlement of the regional order in the Middle East, the mounting conflict between the West and the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the weakness which affected Russia following the collapse of the Soviet Union. But as the picture drastically changed in the region with the eruption of the Arab spring, it found itself at a crossroads. Indeed, it was no longer able to live in two worlds or along two conflicting courses, which will apparently never converge. It was no longer able to combine the contradictions in one policy by hosting – for example – part of NATO’s missile shield, while reassuring Russia or Iran about its neutrality and ability to mediate in the nuclear issue. It could no longer present itself as an ideal model for the new regimes of the Arab spring, sponsor the Syrian opposition in the battle to topple the regime in Damascus and agree with Moscow and Tehran over the future of Syria. It could no longer engage in coordination with the Arab League member states and especially the Gulf states, and convince the Iranian command it is standing at an equal distance between all the sides.

The peoples that underwent the Arab spring expressed the rise of Sunni political Islam which will in no way stand alongside Iran that has lost a wide portion of Arab sympathy for several reasons, including the utter support it is offering to the regime in Damascus and the adoption of an escalation policy toward the Gulf states, the last facets of which having been seen in President Ahmadinejad’s visit to the occupied Emirati Island of Abu Musa, and the threats it is issuing every day, either toward Bahrain and its neighbors or toward Turkey which used to present itself as a model for the rising regimes in the Arab world. At this level, Tehran’s disgruntlement vis-à-vis the Arab and Western promotion of this “moderate” model represented by Turkey is no secret to anyone, along with Russia’s non-reassurance toward Ankara’s support and welcoming of the Arab uprisings.

But the Arab spring was not the only reason behind the tensions between Turkey and Iran, and their divergent positions toward the Syrian crisis were not the ones that caused the escalation of the problem. The situation grew more complicated after Turkey hosted NATO’s missile shield, which is perceived by the Islamic Republic and Russia as being primarily directed against them. Ankara widened the confrontation with Tehran, while the developments in Iraq generated new tensions. Indeed, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan not only received Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi who is wanted by Baghdad for trial, but also joined the president of the Kurdistan province, Massoud Barzani, in addressing harsh criticisms against Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Moreover, the statements exchanged between them featured a sectarian tone that could escalate the sectarian conflict throughout the region. Hence, Ankara clearly sided with Arab and Gulf capitals in the face of the policy adopted by the leader of the State of Law Coalition and his positions which go in line with Tehran’s.

There is no need to explain the reasons pushing Turkey to attack Al-Maliki’s government. Since the beginning, Turkey stood behind the al-Iraqiya bloc and its leader Iyad Allawi, and was not reassured by the Iranian support enjoyed by the leader of the State of Law Coalition. Furthermore, Erdogan’s government did not appreciate the policy of exclusion and monopolization followed by Al-Maliki, along with his government’s excessive defense of the Syrian regime and his policy toward his Gulf neighbors and the Bahraini crisis. Beyond that, Ankara fears the undermining of the balance or the current quotas system, as this could undermine the relations between Iraq’s sectarian, denominational and ethnic components and allow one side to prevail over the other in a way that leads to the increase of Iranian influence in the country and threatens its unity and independence - with all the repercussions that this could carry on all the neighbors, mainly Turkey.

The honeymoon between Ankara and Tehran did not last long. Two years ago, Erdogan - along with Brazil - went against the Western wish and tried in vain to keep the chalice of the sanctions away from Iran. But a few days ago, Tehran opposed Istanbul’s hosting of the last talks with the P5+1 states, and was able to move the second meeting to Baghdad. Moreover, the resistance front that was announced by Ahmadinejad during his visit to Lebanon two years ago and in the context of which he placed Turkey, alongside Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, never saw the light. But despite that, there is still a thin line linking the two countries, considering that they both need each other. Indeed, commercial exchange between them amounted to around $ 16 billion last year, while Iran needs Turkey in light of the blockade and the sanctions. As to the latter, it does not wish to cut the last ties since it imports its oil and gas needs from the Islamic Republic (via gas pipelines from Tabriz to Ankara), as well as from Russia. Moreover, there is the issue of the Kurds in Iraq which imposes coordination between the two countries to confront any Kurdish aspiration to establish an independent state.

The mounting alignment in the Middle East and the international divide over the developments witnessed in it, will force Turkey to reconsider its policy and diplomacy. The more the Syrian crisis is prolonged, the more complicated the situation in Iraq becomes and the more relations between Iran, Russia and Asian powers such as China among others are enhanced, while Turkey will find itself obligated to drastically change its policy, and maybe even its direction. So will it turn toward Europe and NATO once again, or will it deepen its growing relations with the Arab states that perceive it as being a force that could tilt the flawed balance of powers in favor of the Islamic Republic of Iran the other way?

The policy of intimidation, warnings and threats to intervene launched by Erdogan during his campaign against Al-Maliki’s government will not change anything on the ground. It rather reveals Turkey’s weakness and confusion in light of the failures which affected its foreign policy following the accomplishments it had secured throughout the years which preceded this drastic change at the level of the regional map. There is no need to recall the outcome of Ankara’s positions toward Israel and the threats it issued to lift the blockade which has been imposed on Gaza since the Israeli war on the Strip at the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009, and after the Marmara Ship massacre. There is no need to recall the threats issued by the Turkish officials on the eve of the eruption of the uprising in Syria, to the point where some thought that Turkey was going to imminently mobilize its troops in order to protect the demonstrators, if not to try and topple the regime in Damascus.
 
Eliminating ISIS requires removing Assad
Source : Asharq Al-Awsat  
Date : 2014-09-29
Author : Abdulrahman al-Rashed
The world has finally come to realize that the complete eradication of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Al-Nusra Front, Ahrar Al-Sham and all other terrorist organizations in...
Turkey's Inferiority Complex
Source : Asharq Al-Awsat  
Date : 2014-09-29
Author : Salman Aldossary
For more than a year now, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been breaking all diplomatic customs and political protocols with his extreme enmity towards all that is Egyptian and...
Aren't the young adults of Oman, potentially, great?
Source : Oman Daily Observer  
Date : 2014-09-29
Author : Ray Petersen
I'M really lucky at the moment, to be teaching a group of 23 young Omani women, who come from mainly rural environments from Barka, in the north, to Salalah in...
The forgotten front...
Source : Gulf Daily News  
Date : 2014-09-29
Author : James J. Zogby
While the world's attention has been focused on the combined efforts of Arab and US forces attacking 'Islamic State' (IS) positions in Iraq and Syria, there is unfolding in Lebanon,...
Why The Surplus?
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2014-09-29
Author : Badrya Darwish
Reading the financial report released by NBK on the government's finances and budget for the fiscal year 2013/2014, I don't see anything interesting or different from the previous years. Except...
Sponsors suffer abuse too
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2014-09-29
Author : Khaled Aljenfawi
Although I agree that there is a need to provide more adequate protection to Kuwait's domestic helpers, yet the dominant negative perception about the situation of maids and drivers in...
Erdogan's behaviour must not be tolerated
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2014-09-29
Author : Khalaf Ahmed Al Habtoor
President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s visit to New York to speak before the United Nations General Assembly was not only a public relations coup, he and his team did some furious networking...
Reverence for State
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2014-09-29
Author : Ahmed Al-Jarallah
Two news stories are currently the main concern of Kuwaitis. The first is about a lawmaker who walked out of the Parliament during the national meeting on a sensitive issue...
How the strategy against IS was built
Source : The Peninsula  
Date : 2014-09-29
Author : Karen DeYoung
After keeping his promise to avoid American involvement in extended wars for nearly six years, President Barack Obama last week began a military engagement that he acknowledged is likely to...
Erdogan's Egypt diatribe
Source : Khaleej Times  
Date : 2014-09-29
Author : Dr Ahmed Mokhtar
Egyptians are convinced that Erdogan's dream was not limited to Egypt, and that he was planning to go for other countries in the Arab region....
Hanging in the balance
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-09-29
Author : Hassan Barari
With Britain joining the international coalition designed to help roll back the considerable threat posed by the Islamic State (IS), it is possible to say that the anti-IS coalition has...
Toward comprehensive development of KSA
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-09-29
Author : Talal Al-Harbi
Development cannot be treated or dealt with as an isolated defining term in the absence of general measures to assess its importance in the progress of a society. In Saudi...
Kingdom at the forefront in fight against IS
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-09-29
Author : Saad Dosari
The world has finally decided to confront the threat of the Islamic State. It was just about time. Waves of jet fighters coming from an international coalition have started to...
Kingdom's participation in fighting terror
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2014-09-29
Author : Jasser Al-Jasser
The Kingdom's participation in fighting terrorists who belong to the self-proclaimed Islamic State, Al-Nusra Front and Khorasan group in Syria refutes all claims that terrorism is a Sunni brand....
Saudi Adahi project
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-09-29
Author : Abdullah Sayil
The Saudi Project for Utilization of Haj Meat (Adahi) is one of its kind. When a pilgrim pays to this organization, he should be positive that the meat will feed...
Total 200 Results in 14 Pages
  2 
For more news, views and reports about this topic, please subscribe
to GRC website: www.grc.net
Tue Sep 30, 2014| 05-ذو الحجة-1435هـ
Syria backs global fight against ISIS: Minister
Oil prices at 2-year lows; likely to remain weak
Kuwait revokes citizenship of opposition figure
Dubai flexes legal muscles as financial court system grows
Netanyahu: Iran greater threat than Islamic State
Qatar growth seen outperforming GCC peers
UN warning: Political conflicts worsening Yemen food security
Saudi Arabia, UAE sustain economic growth
Abu Dhabi Crown Prince: honouring of Kuwait is "honouring for us all"
Kuwait's non-oil growth hits 3.5 pct in '14: IMF
Kuwait endorses UN rules to check terror funding
Saudi Arabia ranks 19th globally in creating a competitive ICT market
ISIS militants close in on key Syria border town despite US air strikes
Qatar's exports up 0.3pc to QR40.8bn in August
Obama says misread IS; Al-Qaeda warns of attacks on West 
GCC ports set to face logistic pressure
    Newspaper Editorials
Dialogue best way out to end HK standoff
Hollande: Resuscitation not assassination
More>>  
    Opinions
The Houthis and a history of conflict in Yemen
Race to fight ISIS or just a show of force?
More>>  
    GCC Press Agencies
Day's main stories from the GCC Press Agencies
    Reports
Iran and the P5+1: Getting to 'Yes'
More>>  
    Bank Reports
GCC Markets Performance – May 2014
Saudi Arabia: Baseline Macroeconomic Forecast 2014-16
More>>  
    GRC Analysis
Saudi Arabia and the ASEAN Periphery: Cambodia, Myanmar, and Brunei
NATO and the Future of Gulf Security.
Saudi-Vietnam Relations
    GRC Commentary
Price of not heeding Kingdom's advice
On Relations between Rulers and Citizens: The Need for a New Social/Political Contract in the GCC States
Key Issue Facing the Saudi Ruling House.
    GRC Book Review
Beyond Regionalism? Regional Cooperation, Regionalism and Regionalization in the Middle East
India, GCC and the Global Energy Regime: Exploring Interdependence and Outlook for Collaboration.
    GRC Press Release
Gulf Research Center press releases to the media
    GRC Publications
GCC Relations with Post-War Iraq: A Strategic Perspective
The Union Moment for the GCC
Regional Disorder and New Geo-economic Order: Saudi Security Strategies in a Reshaped Middle East
    GRC Newsletters/Bulletins

Enter your email to get the Newsletter
Go
      
Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Terms & Conditions | About Us |
Weather | Qibla Directions | Hijri Date Conversion Tool
Full Page :total time:0  |   17-- 17 Middle Page :0  --   | Right : 17 - 17--en--sess-enreq-en-coming