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.
 
Fighting ISIS is the duty of all Arabs
Source : Asharq Al-Awsat  
Date : 2015-02-27
Author : Mshari Al-Zaydi
When Saddam Hussein invaded and occupied Kuwait in 1990, an international coalition was formed to expel his army. The coalition was advocated and embraced by Saudi Arabia who effectively participated...
Erdoğan's Dangerous Power Game
Source : Asharq Al-Awsat  
Date : 2015-02-27
Author : Amir Taheri
According to Western governments, more than 12,000 of their citizens have traveled to Syria to join the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in various capacities including frontline...
Bin Laden, may Allah have mercy on you
Source : Arab Times  
Date : 2015-02-27
Author : Ali Ahmad Al-Baghli
My elder brother, His Highness Sheikh Nasser Al- Mohammad, sent me a gift a few days ago. It was a thrilling television interview which I did not watch until recently....
Winds of change
Source : Gulf Today  
Date : 2015-02-27
Author : Michael Jansen
Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush is one of the many Republican political figures to express eagerness to hear what Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will say when he addresses a joint...
West's wilful bias against Islam
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-02-27
Author : Aijaz Zaka Syed
President Barack Obama may have touched a billion hearts by insisting that terrorists do not speak for a billion Muslims. Hosting a first of its kind counterterrorism conference at the...
GCC: Looking beyond politics
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-02-27
Author : Mohamed A. Raouf
Promoting environmental integration among Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries may seem to be a low priority issue in political exchanges, but it is actually an incentive and tool for fostering...
National and liberation days
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2015-02-26
Author : Abdallah Buwair
Those two glorious anniversaries are very important for everybody in Kuwait - citizens and expatriates - who impatiently await them to celebrate every year....
National holiday or great escape?
Source : Kuwait Times  
Date : 2015-02-26
Author : Muna Al-Fuzai
Officially, the national holidays are only for two days, but a large number of citizens and expatriates have left the country possibly until the end of first week of March....
ISIS, the United States, and the GCC
Source : Al Arabiya TV  
Date : 2015-02-26
Author : John Duke Anthony
It is no ordinary event for 26 countries' representatives to be meeting to discuss how best to confront the challenge of ISIS. What the so-called "Islamic State," or ISIS, or...
Obama's new Middle East mantra: Caught by surprise
Source : Al Arabiya TV  
Date : 2015-02-26
Author : Joyce Karam
"Surprise surprise, you're much better looking when you're in disguise" is becoming more than a good song for the Canadian punk rock band "Billy Talent" and could sum up the...
Need to support deserving local companies
Source : Oman Daily Observer  
Date : 2015-02-26
Author : Haider Al Lawati
Everyone knows that working in the private sector means there is a need to increase productivity to ensure that organisations and companies continue to give back to their employees...
Emir's message to America
Source : The Peninsula  
Date : 2015-02-26
Author : Dr Khalid Al Jaber
The visit of Emir H H Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to US comes at a time when the MENA region is going through a period of turmoil and...
Tactics rethink to fight IS..?
Source : Gulf Daily News  
Date : 2015-02-26
Author : Reem Antoon
About every decision or law that has come out of the Islamic State (IS)follows what it calls the Prophetic methodology....
If you can't beat them...
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-02-26
Author : Abdulateef Al-Mulhim
At the end of almost each fight or argument, young kids usually start blaming one another for the issue. They end up saying, "You started it."...
Yemen's changing scenario
Source : Arab News  
Date : 2015-02-26
Author : Abdel Aziz Aluwaisheg
On Jan. 21, Houthi militias detained Yemen’s President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and kept him under house arrest after he refused to rubber-stamp their decisions. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)...
Total 200 Results in 14 Pages
  2 
For more news, views and reports about this topic, please subscribe
to GRC website: www.grc.net
Sun Mar 1, 2015| 10-جماد أول-1436هـ
Erdogan, El-Sissi set for key Saudi talks
Bahraini Amb. to Yemen to resume duties from Aden
Al-Mansoori: SMEs are cornerstone of any economy
Yemen, Iran sign MoU in air transport field
Jailed Kurdish leader calls on PKK to lay down arms
Kuwait honors vows against money laundering, terror finance -- Min.
Iran-China trade hits $51.8b in 2014
Kuwait to host summit on women's issues in March
Middle East funds increasingly bullish on Saudi Arabia equities
Mohamed and Putin discuss co-operation
ODB to offer 60m rials in loans in '15 to help diversify economy
Commercial bids for Oman Rail Segment 1 due today
Yemen separatists pull out of UN-backed talks
OPEC's oil supply falls in February
UN envoy in Damascus to seek quick Aleppo truce
Iran shrugs off Netanyahu's bid to block nuclear deal
New KSA campaign to expel illegal expats
    Newspaper Editorials
Threat to Britain, really
Another cultural crime
More>>  
    Opinions
Need for pragmatic approach
Saleh should be held to account
More>>  
    GCC Press Agencies
Day's main stories from the GCC Press Agencies
    Reports
Regional Situation Report For Syria Crisis: UNFPA
More>>  
    Bank Reports
Saudi Arabia Banking Sector
GCC Equity Monitor - Global
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
The Socio-Political Background and Stakes of ‘Saudizing’ the Workforce in Saudi Arabia: the Nitaqat Policy
Current Progress in the Nationalisation Programmes in Saudi Arabia
Bahrain’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  |   40-- 40 Middle Page :0  --   | Right : 40 - 40--en--sess-enreq-en-coming