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.
 
Bahrain: tighten your belt...
Source : Gulf Daily News  
Date : 2014-04-23
Author : Rizwan Malik
Bahrain has been ranked fourth according to the Islamic Finance Country Index (IFCI), a composite ranking of more than 40 countries, published in Global Islamic Finance Report (GIFR) 2014....
Two Racist Proposals
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2014-04-23
Author : Dr Hassan Abbas
No one can blame lawmakers for acting towards the benefit of citizens and the nation. But at the same time, that does not give them the right to practice discrimination...
A cultural program cementing Saudi-Pakistan friendship
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2014-04-23
Author : Ali Al-Ghamdi
The Karachi-based World Muslim Congress (WMC) recently organized, in cooperation with the Pakistan consulate, a cultural event called the “First Saudi-Pakistan friendship program” in Jeddah....
A dependence resulting from prosperity
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2014-04-23
Author : Tariq A. Al-Maeena
Following the oil boom years of the 1970s and 80s which translated into a lot of cash flowing into the Kingdom, a new social trend began to manifest itself. Households...
KSA needs land reforms
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-04-23
Author : Abdulateef Al-Mulhim
Saudi Arabia is one of the biggest countries in terms of landmass spread over an area of around one million square miles with a population of about 30 million....
Jordan ups the ante against infiltrators
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-04-23
Author : Osama Al Sharif
In an extraordinary development, Jordanian air force intercepted and then destroyed at least four vehicles last Wednesday that tried to cross the border from the Syrian side into Jordan....
Iraq's New Wave of Suicide Bombers
Source : The Counter Punch  
Date : 2014-04-22
Author : Patrick Cockburn
A wave of suicide bombings carried out by foreign volunteers entering Iraq from Syria is killing some 1,000 civilians a month, bringing the country back to the brink of civil...
Boston and Baghdad
Source : The Antiwar.com  
Date : 2014-04-22
Author : Ralph Nader
Greater Boston and its citizens are the focus of media attention in recognition of the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings that took three innocent lives and injured over...
The closing of Abu Ghraib and the U.S. failure in Iraq
Source : Los Angeles Times-U.S.A  
Date : 2014-04-22
Author : Andrew J. Bacevich
The government of Iraq last week announced that it had padlocked the infamous prison at Abu Ghraib. The gates are closed. The inmates moved. Whether the closure is permanent or...
The dividend policies and their impact on securities market
Source : Oman Daily Observer  
Date : 2014-04-22
Author : Lo'ai Batainah
The gross profits of the 74 MSM listed companies stood at about RO481.2 million; a growth by more than 10 per cent compared to 2012. This means that the cash...
Sheikhs are also Citizens
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2014-04-22
Author : Ali Al-Kandari
The Opposition Coalition's project of comprehensive political reform in Kuwait bars ruling family members (sheikhs) from the state's prime minister post. The decision is based on the constitution's explanatory note...
The Cost Of Silence
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2014-04-22
Author : Abd Al-Rahman Alyan
This week the public prosecution shut down two newspapers in Kuwait for violating a ban on the publication of news and information related to a videotape. The gag order also...
Prevention is key to containing MERS
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-04-22
Author : Susa V. Ople
On Facebook, Filipino workers based in United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and other Middle East countries have started posting messages about the dreaded Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus, a...
3445 jobs up for grabs
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-04-22
Author : Abdullah Sayil
Next month, 2.5 million jobless Saudis will have a big chance to compete for 3445 jobs. Oh yes! This massive number of jobless Saudis have very interesting details that I...
Arab News turns 39
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2014-04-22
Author : Mohammed Fahad Al-Harthi
Today we are celebrating the 39th anniversary of Arab News, the first English-language newspaper in Saudi Arabia that was published in the early stages of the oil and economic boom....
Total 200 Results in 14 Pages
  2 
For more news, views and reports about this topic, please subscribe
to GRC website: www.grc.net
Fri Apr 25, 2014| 24-جماد ثاني-1435هـ
Al-Zayani: GCC acting with unity to defeat challenges
Saudi Arabia ranks 32nd in the world for network readiness
Abu Dhabi CP receives French Defence Minister
DP World in talks with banks for $ 3 billion loan
Syria raid kills 27, as chemical arms destruction nears end
Kuwait's trade balance surplus exceeds KD 25 bln in 2013
Mohammed, Fernandez discuss bilateral relations
'Influx of expat workers to put moderate pressure on prices'
OPCW weighs chlorine attack probe
Bahrain set to host major energy expo
Mers coronavirus outbreaks: WHO offers help
Qatar shifts focus to non-hydrocarbon investments with huge wealth, says QNB
Three MPs file to grill Kuwaiti PM over 'all issues'
Net profit set to quadruple by 2018 on boom: Emaar
US slams Iran's election to UN committee
Iran new oil contracts finalized
`
    Newspaper Editorials
A poll campaign that has turned personal
Broken stitches
More>>  
    Opinions
Blowback From Drone Strikes Over Yemen
America's grim legacy in Iraq
More>>  
    GCC Press Agencies
Day's main stories from the GCC Press Agencies
    Reports
The Legal Classification of the Armed Conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Libya
More>>  
    Bank Reports
GCC Markets Performance – March 2014
GCC Earnings Review – 2013
More>>  
    GRC Analysis
Saudi-Vietnam Relations
Saudi-Philippines Relations
Enhancing Saudi-Japan Relations
    GRC Commentary
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
The EU and the GCC in Global Governance: Limitations and Future Potential
Kuwait’s Legal Framework of Migration
Saudi Arabia’s Legal Framework of Migration
    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  |   35-- 35 Middle Page :0  --   | Right : 35 - 35--en--sess-enreq-en-coming