Mehr News Agency, International Group – Azar Mahdvan: Turkey’s steps to improve relations with Arab countries have taken a more serious path. Although Ankara experienced eight years of tension with Egypt because of the Brotherhood ideology, these days we are once again witnessing meetings between Turkish and Egyptian officials, even last week a second round of talks between the Turkish delegation and Egypt. Of course, this shows that Ankara could not be influential in the Arab world during these years with the Muslim Brotherhood card.
On the other hand, although the assassination of Jamal Khashgeji, a critical Saudi journalist, has strained relations between Ankara and Riyadh, these days the two countries are trying to develop bilateral political and economic relations. It is as if Turkey’s policy towards the UAE is in the process of de-escalation.
In fact, Turkey is facing a political isolation in the Eastern Mediterranean, and this has not had a positive effect on Turkish foreign policy and, in turn, on the power of the AKP within Turkey. Therefore, we can analyze one of the reasons for Turkey’s actions to normalize relations with Arab governments in this context.
But the point to consider is whether Turkey’s change of approach is solely a matter of the Eastern Mediterranean or regional issues that have led it to improve relations with the Arab world.
Mehr reporter in order to review Turkey’s policy towards Arab countries, interview with Farhad Onloo He has been a Turkish writer, journalist and TV presenter. He is one of the columnists of “Yeni Shafaq” and “Daily Sabah” newspapers, which you can read in detail below:
* Recently, we are witnessing Turkey’s efforts to improve its relations with some Arab countries. While Turkey experienced many disputes with Egypt over the Muslim Brotherhood for eight years. It seems that after the assassination of Jamal Khashgeji, a critical Saudi journalist, we witnessed many tensions between Riyadh and Ankara in the political and economic spheres. On the other hand, we are witnessing a meeting between Turkish and UAE officials. Are these actions of Turkey rooted solely in the issue of the Eastern Mediterranean dispute, or have other issues also influenced Turkish policy?
Khashgeji’s assassination and some issues in the Persian Gulf created serious tensions between Turkey and Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, some of the UAE’s activities in Libya and Syria, especially its support for the PKK and the PYD, and the UAE’s inclination towards Israel and its intelligence cooperation with the regime on the Pegasus spy system, have led to There was a dispute between Abu Dhabi and Ankara. I think the change in Turkey’s approach to these countries stems from a rotational policy because we are in a period of rotating coalitions in the region. When asymmetric threats are made in the region, asymmetric coalitions are formed at the same time. Proxy wars and regional disputes are the most important reason for changing the policy of governments. Even earlier, Turkey and Iran had pitted their differences over the two countries’ regional issues, but later Tehran and Ankara established the Astana process to resolve their differences. Meanwhile, Turkey’s relations with Egypt have entered a favorable phase, despite regional disputes and years of tensions. The change in Turkey’s policy towards the Arab countries is related to the Eastern Mediterranean context, which I think is a logical approach, because Turkey’s situation in the Mediterranean is facing various issues, especially the issue of Cyprus. Although the coup in Egypt killed innocent people and angered Turkey, every country takes a position in the interests and power of its region, so I think that Turkey’s steps to normalize relations with Arab countries are a positive step.
Given Turkey’s recent policy of improving relations with Arab countries, would it not be better for Ankara officials to enter into direct talks with the Damascus authorities on Syria and address disputes and issues such as Syrian refugees?
Turkey is in contact with the Syrian government in the field of intelligence. In the case of the Syrian immigrants, the Syrian government itself is not able to fully resolve this issue because some terrorist groups still exist in some parts of Syria. For this reason, although Turkey has no expectations on Syrian soil, it is currently present on Syrian soil. Some governments have been trying for years to start religious and racial wars inside Turkey, but due to the failure of this approach, they are now trying to put the Turkish government in a difficult position with its immigration policy. However, it is necessary for Turkey to have meetings with the Syrian government, at least at the level of intelligence, and to discuss the future of Syria. Because the continuation of any crisis in Syria will also hurt Turkey.
* Turkey seems to want to get more involved in Afghanistan in order to be more influential in Asia, and that is why Turkey’s talks with Afghanistan over Kabul Airport. What is your analysis?
Afghanistan has different conditions. The United States entered the country in 2001 and spent billions of dollars. This caused the death of many people in this country. Iran and Pakistan are Afghanistan’s neighbors, their approach to Kabul is important, but Turkey is not. Turkey has always tried to get involved in the crisis in any geography. Of course, it must be said that the situation in Syria is different from Afghanistan because the presence of Turkish troops in Syria, ie in the neighboring country, has been due to common borders, and any Turkish soldier who loses his life on Syrian soil is understandable to Turkish society. If a Turkish soldier is killed on Afghan soil in the future, this will provoke a reaction from the Turkish people. Of course, I do not think our troops will go to war with the Taliban because the Taliban are trying to become a government.
The Taliban have the conditions to become a legitimate government. The US withdrawal from Afghanistan has provided the conditions for this group. If the Taliban establish good relations with other countries in the field of foreign policy, they will definitely succeed. Of course, Turkey will use its influence card in any geographical area, and this issue is not only related to Asia, but in the case of Afghanistan, the cooperation of Turkey and Iran is needed. In fact, Tehran and Ankara are pursuing good cooperation in the fight against terrorism. I think this cooperation can also be effective in Afghanistan. I am not saying this just to talk to an Iranian media, it is necessary for Turkey and Iran to develop their relations on regional issues.