- Shakeel Anwar
- BBC Bungalow, London
After the assassination of prominent journalist Jamal Kashoki at the Saudi embassy building in Istanbul in 2018, angry Turkish President Erdogan pointed directly to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for this.
After that, relations between the two most influential countries in the Muslim world began to grow rapidly. Within a year, relations between the two reached a very low level, with Saudi Arabia officially banning the import of Turkish goods.
Erdogan, on the other hand, did not hesitate to drag the Saudi royal family for long when he had the opportunity. There was a long period of mudslinging between the two governments, with the media controlled by the two governments.
But in April this year, after Erdogan’s surprise visit to Saudi Arabia and pictures of him shaking hands with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah, there were signs of a change in their relationship.
Relations between the two countries have been strained over the past few months. Restrictions on trade and movement of aircraft have been lifted. Turkish television has begun broadcasting in Saudi Arabia and has stopped broadcasting to each other in the media in both countries.
Following this, the visit of Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Turkey at Erdogan’s special invitation made it clear that the ice in the bilateral relations between the two countries had melted.
Why did Erton take the initiative?
International political observers have no doubt that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is working to renew relations with Saudi Arabia.
London-based research firm on geopolitical threats to the Middle East Caste Hamdi, leader of international interest To the BBC bungalow, “I think Erdon is on his knees a bit.”
But why does Erdon succumb to his familiar image of being ready for war? Hamdi believes that Turkey’s economic crisis is the number one and only reason for this. The Turkish currency, the lira, fell upside down.
According to Reuters, the lira will have halved against the dollar by 2021 within a year. The inflation rate has also crossed 70 per cent.
Hamdi says the election is only a year away.
Erdogan said last week that he and the Saudi prince were discussing the heights of bilateral relations.
Erdogan, a government official, told reporters that “the Saudi crown prince’s visit will restore normal relations between the two countries before the crisis (before Kashoghi was assassinated in 2018).”
According to reports, agreements will be reached between the two countries on issues such as fuel, trade and security. Saudi Arabian investment in the Turkish stock market will also be discussed. The sale of Turkish-made drones to Saudi Arabia will also be discussed.
That is, ahead of the June 2023 election, Erdogan is pushing to increase trade and attract investment from Saudi Arabia.
Is Orton retreating?
In a report released last month by the Council for Foreign Relations at the American Research Institute, researcher Steven A. Cook wrote, “Erdogan may have backed down a bit from his ‘naturally aggressive’ foreign policy.
Erdogan was furious with President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, who overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in 2013 and seized power. Since then, he has provided shelter and protection for anti-Egyptian politicians. Also, from Istanbul, he has been allowing himself to campaign against the CC government.
Erdogan was also angry at the Saudi royal family for supporting Saudi Arabia in this Egyptian coup.
This is why Turkey jumped in support of Qatar in 2017 when four Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, imposed sanctions on Qatar. As a result, Turkey’s diplomatic and economic relations with influential Middle Eastern countries such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt continue to be bitter.
After this, after the assassination of Jamal Kashoki in 2018, Erdogan made every effort to push Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates into the dock. By raising the issue of justice in this case, many researchers believe that Erdogan really wanted to use this incident to hurt Saudi Arabia.
Before the rupture of relations, the people of Saudi Arabia were the largest buyers of fixed assets in Turkey. More than a hundred Turkish companies were doing business in Saudi Arabia. About one lakh Turkish citizens work in Saudi Arabia.
According to Saudi Arabian economist Amal Abdul Aziz al-Hajani, Turkey is targeting $ 2,500 million in Saudi investment by 2023 and wants to increase bilateral trade to $ 200 million. But all of those goals were unfulfilled.
‘Friends decrease, enemies increase’
For the Turkish electorate, the country’s economy is more important than foreign policy, says Caste Hamdi. There is a growing belief among many that the number of Turkey’s friends is declining while the number of enemies is increasing.
In a recent viral video on Turkish social media, the female organizer of a business conference can be seen shouting at Erdogan that her business is on the verge of collapse due to deteriorating relations with Saudi Arabia.
In addition to the economic front, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates began to seek to confront Turkey in regional politics. Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have come out in support of Cyprus and Greece in the conflict with Turkey over fuel rights in the Mediterranean.
In the summer of 2020, Air Force pilots from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates participated in training for the Greek Air Force. These events increased the unrest in Turkey.
Steven A. In his analysis, Cook said, “Orton now realizes that he has no authority to impose his will on regional countries.”
Against this background Erton is now beginning to walk in the opposite direction.
Turkey has made an exception
Turkey has recently announced that it is concluding its investigation into the murder of Jamal Kashoghi. The campaign against the government of President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, in which some anti-Egyptian politicians are operating in Istanbul, has almost come to a halt. Many TV channels run by him have been shut down. Many social media sites run by anti-government Egyptians have also been shut down. Many of them have been asked to leave Turkey.
So is Erdogan sorry for his foreign policy? Do they admit their mistake?
Although he did not admit his mistake, Sadie Hamdy admitted that Erdogan had admitted that what he had thought had not happened.
According to Hamdi, “Erdogan wants to show Turkish citizens the importance of internal issues before the election. But I do not believe Erdogan has abandoned his foreign policy. For now, it is safe to say that he is changing. Your priorities.”
He says, “Reaching out to Saudi Arabia has no doubt tarnished Erdogan’s powerful image. But it is also true that Turkey is still trapped in Libya. It is in Central Asia.” Turkey is still a major force in the Mediterranean. At present, there are no prospects of leaving Syria.
Hamdi notes that the leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates or Egypt are still skeptical of Erdogan’s intentions. He says, “Erdogan showed no enthusiasm when he first visited Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. To gain their trust, Erdogan has made several offers over the past few months. Nevertheless, Egypt’s approach to trade. It still is. Cold. “
Hamdi says many Middle Eastern analysts are writing that Erdogan will return to his old form after the current economic crisis and elections.
Why does Saudi Arabia give importance to Turkey?
Why are Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates paying a price for Erdogan when he is skeptical of his intentions?
First, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is serious about removing the stains on his image from the Kashogi massacre. Moderate truth, but President Erdogan has given him a chance.
But at the same time, Hamdi believes that Saudi Arabia does not want to miss the opportunity to cheapen its friendship with Turkey in the current economic crisis. In addition, he says, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have the opportunity to forge ties with other aspects of Turkish society and politics.
According to Hamdi, “Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and President of the United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Saeed Al Nahyan Erdogan will not last long and may think this is a golden opportunity to build relations with Turkish opposition politicians.”
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