Friday , April 16 2021

Will repairing Turkey’s Arab ties break its regional isolation? – opinion

Recently, diplomatic or intelligence contacts between Egypt and Turkey have been hinted at, highlighting a number of issues, regardless of the limitations and objectives of those contacts (on the Turkish side, of course).

Chief among these issues is the party that is committed to resolving and making things happen. That would be the Turkish side, which primarily caused a misunderstanding between the two regional powers.

Turkey has realized that the risk of losing relations between nations in order to satisfy the “Brotherhood” is not in its interest, because it has plunged itself into a narrow regional and international cage.

He can no longer maneuver and pursue his trade and economic interests in this hostile environment of his own creation. The mistakes of Turkish policy are reflected in its trade level and important economic interests with Arab countries.

I strongly believe that Turkey’s search for regional repositioning is mainly focused on breaking through the imbroglia that it entered thanks to unjustified military interventions that exceed its capabilities and limitations of all-encompassing power. It is a way to achieve this goal by trying to correct the rifts that have affected Arab-Turkish relations – with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Cairo’s reservations about Turkey’s behavior and its alliances with the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization are shared by other countries in the region, especially Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Turkish moves that harm the interests of the three Arab states have not achieved any of their goals.

It is true that during his political career, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was known for rejecting his own political and party allies and friends. It is enough that his closest allies and followers have turned into enemies on the political and partisan scene (mostly Abdullah Gul and Ahmet Davutoglu, his fellow founders of the Justice and Development Party).

This is a true manifestation of his orientation, in which his defenders see a kind of pragmatism. On the other hand, his slanderers saw it as a true expression of political opportunism. In any case, we are not so much interested in the classification of behavior as in its content and implications.

In the end, politics is not just about etiquette, but about behavior and a long search for interests. Certainly, the current world order and geopolitics in their current form no longer recognize the classical model of strategic alliance. New models of developing tactical alliances have emerged.

They can bring together antagonists based on the issues and strategic interests that bring together states. One could see an alliance between two countries on one issue, antagonism between the same countries on another issue, and so on. Examples of this would be the rather complex relations between Turkey, Iran and Russia.

There is agreement on issues such as Syria and deep differences around others, such as Iraq for Turkish-Iranian relations and Libya for Turkish-Russian relations. It is true that Erdogan’s Turkey was late in discovering that its loyalty to the “Brotherhood” had grown into a great burden.

Ankara’s betting that it will use it as a dog pawn of some influential Arab capital is no longer worth it. Ankara’s losses became heavy and unacceptable to the Turkish people. Over time, people have lost interest in Erdogan’s policies.

This is due to the decline in internal economic performance and policies that have dragged the country into external conflicts and isolation, which has damaged Turkey’s reputation in Arab societies over the past two decades, especially at the cultural level. I do not believe in political inertia.

The policy refers to the dynamism, maneuverability and the possibility of achieving and securing the national interest through various gates. I am not inclined to belittle Turkey’s so-called courtship of Egypt, Saudi Arabia or the UAE. What matters is not what is said, but what is done.

It is important that Turkey works to undo the causes of its regional isolation, create the right conditions and eliminate conflicts in order to open a new page in Arab-Turkish relations. This is a litmus test for Erdogan, not statements, although important for a good climate.

Turkey’s foreign policy may or may not have been revised. Some observers are convinced that there are steps to return to Davutoglu’s “zero problem” policy. This policy is the driving force behind Turkey’s economic rise in the G20.

Similarly, Turkish signals expressing a desire to renew relations with Arab states may or may not reflect a strategic direction or represent a temporary tactical shift. In any case, in order to know what is behind all this, we need to know to what extent Turkish policies have really changed and whether that change is permanent.

Indeed, Turkey’s strategic interests, especially with regard to gas from the eastern Mediterranean, and deteriorating relations with Arab countries have become strong selling points for the opposition against the AKP and Erdogan.

The president understood that Turkey’s room for maneuver was limited in relation to the Arab regional powers, which he believed could be easily pressured and influenced to achieve the goals and inclinations of his party, and not the interests of the Turkish state.

In the end, it is worth remembering that nothing in politics as a whole is constant. The only constant is change. The interests of nations rule. There is nothing surprising in any signals that reflect changes in the policy of a country, be it Turkey or other countries, in their relations with the Arab world.

The most important thing is to what extent this change is in line with the goals and interests of Arab countries and nations, and whether it is a real transformation in the political thinking and approach of Erdogan and Co.

The author is a political analyst from the UAE and a former candidate for the Federal National Council.

Source link