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.
 
Curbing Iran's adventurism
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2016-08-28
Author : Sabria S. Jawhar
In a war in which the lines between the combatants and civilians are blurred, Saudi Arabia has become the piñata of western nations seeking a scapegoat for the deaths of...
Saudi desire for peace in Yemen
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2016-08-28
Author : Abdulateef Al-Mulhim
It is almost impossible to talk about an armed conflict without the fear of the unseen and unwanted consequences. In such a situation, nobody could rule out the possibility of...
Iran, Turkey, Russia nexus threat
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2016-08-26
Author : Khalaf Ahmed Al Habtoor
The Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan, who ordered the shooting down of a Russian warplane last November and hurled volleys of insult at his Russian counterpart, now refers to President...
Long-term strategic schemes vital to avoid crisis recurrence
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2016-08-26
Author : Yusuf Awadh Al-Azemi
Did you know that contracting companies represent the basic arm of countries’ developmental processes?...
Subsidies a kettle with a lot of holes
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2016-08-26
Author : Ahmed Al-Jarallah
A certain voice wants the government to remedy the economic and financial crisis caused by the oil price decline without touching the service earnings which put a huge burden on...
Sick Austrian versus a sick Kuwaiti
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2016-08-26
Author : Ali Ahmad Al-Baghli
In Austria, a study published recently recommended review of the current 'sick leave system'. This came after a statistical sample which consisted of various sectors affirmed that more than a...
The quality of education in Kuwait
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2016-08-26
Author : Mohammad Al-Sanousi
It is necessary to create an authority to guarantee the quality of education under the prime minister, within a national plan to reform education and spread the culture of quality...
Arabs need to learn from Norwegian experience
Source : Oman Daily Observer  
Date : 2016-08-26
Author : Haider Al Lawati
Most Gulf sovereign funds recently announced losses after Britain voted to exit from the European Union and the subsequent impact on the British economy as a consequence of this decision....
Ghouta Rules: Justice waiting for Assad
Source : The Peninsula  
Date : 2016-08-26
Author : Makram Rabah
In the course of human history tyrants such as Bashar Al Assad in Syria have used brute force and massacres to maintain their rule....
Why Obama wouldn't aid Iran's Green Revolution
Source : The Peninsula  
Date : 2016-08-26
Author : Eli Lake
One of the great hypotheticals of Barack Obama's presidency involves the Iranian uprising that began on June 12, 2009, after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was announced the winner of contested presidential elections....
Your salary has been delayed? So what?
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2016-08-26
Author : Ahmed Ajab Al-Zahrani
Some companies delay the payment of salaries for seven months, which means that their employees have to find some way to manage without money for that period of time. Can...
Create labor committees to protect the rights of workers
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2016-08-26
Author : Muhammad Al-Sadiq
Many people recently expressed their outrage over a photo showing housemaids who work on an hourly basis standing inside a mall behind the employees of a recruitment company who were...
Thanks to Twitter, MoL closes housemaid 'slave market'
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2016-08-26
Author : Hilda Ismail
A recruitment company recently put three housemaids on display at a mall in Dhahran as a way of promoting its services to the general public....
Omran doesn't need tears, Ms. Bolduan, he needs us to do our jobs!
Source : Saudi Gazette  
Date : 2016-08-26
Author : Faisal J. Abbas
No, I am not cruel nor am I insensitive. On the contrary, I think what would have definitely been insensitive was NOT to cry upon watching the recent video of...
Russia and the Iranian base
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2016-08-26
Author : Abdulrahman al-Rashed
Confusion surrounding the announcement of a deal in which Iran grants Russia use of the Hamadan airbase is unworthy of serious discussion. News agencies have been preoccupied with it, with...
Total 200 Results in 14 Pages
  2 
For more news, views and reports about this topic, please subscribe
to GRC website: www.grc.net
Wed Aug 31, 2016| 27-ذو القعدة-1437هـ
At least 60 dead in Yemen army camp suicide attack
Iran deploys S-300 missiles around nuclear site
Bahrain King backs Arab unity to stave off challenges
India's $ 120bn tourism industry woos Qatari investors
US alarm as Turkey warns Kurds of more strikes
Suicide attack kills 18 in Iraq oasis town
SMEs to get Dhs5b deals in Expo 2020
Shelling from Yemen kills 3 Saudi children
Salehi: Iran to attend, monitor outcome of upcoming IAEA general conference
Oman-China JV to invest RO 84m in four retail hubs
Visit takes China ties to new level
Kuwaiti FM extolls close ties with Switzerland
New projects to immensely benefit pilgrims, says Emir
Saudi Cabinet backs international peace initiative for Yemen
  Op-Ed
A historic deal
Arab coalition will rid Yemen of terror
Strengthening Saudi-China ties
Saudi Arabia and strategic partnerships
More>>  
    Reports
GCC Banking Sector Quarterly - 2Q16
GCC Markets Performance - July 2016
More>>  
    GCC Press Agencies
Day's main stories from the GCC Press Agencies
    GRC Analysis
The GCC and the EU's New Global Strategy
For the GCC States, a different Europe to deal with
GCC-Russia Relations: Lot of Rhetoric but Little Substance
    GRC Commentary
Earth Day 2016: The Promised Day
An Evolving Saudi-US Relationship
Water and Jobs: Hitting Two Birds with One Stone!
    GRC Press Release
Gulf Research Center press releases to the media
    GRC Publications
Salalah: The Economic Development and Spatial Fragmentation of a Globalized Port City in Southern Oman
Domestic Ramifications of the JCPOA for Iran
GCC and Russia: A View from Moscow
    GRC Newsletters/Bulletins

Enter your email to get the Newsletter
Go
A Note on Syrian Refugees in the Gulf: Attempting to Assess Data and Policies
      
Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Terms & Conditions | About Us |
Weather | Qibla Directions | Hijri Date Conversion Tool
Full Page :total time:0  |   14-- 14 Middle Page :0  --   | Right : 14 - 14--en--sess-enreq-en-coming