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Erdogan's Ottoman Abyss


By opening up multiple fronts at the domestic and international arenas, Erdogan has found himself outwitted and cornered, says Mohammad Reza Noroozpoor
MOHAMMAD REZA NOROOZPOOR | New Delhi, January 10, 2014 17:00
Tags : Erdogan’s Ottoman Abyss | Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan |

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is not totally wrong in claiming that certain countries are involved in magnifying the graft scandal case that has rocked his country in the past few days. He also noted that it is directly related to Turkey’s economic interactions with the Islamic Republic of Iran under the conditions of sanctions. The main elements that are currently at work to bring the Islamist Justice and Development Party of Turkish prime minister to its knees, or at least to weaken it, can be considered as an amalgamate of various factors, which can be enumerated as follows:

Domestic mistakes, including the growing grounds for corruption and an unhealthy race for taking advantage of the current conditions that govern trade exchanges between Iran and Turkey as a result of international sanctions imposed against the Islamic Republic. Another factor which has led to rising corruption in Turkey was the absence of efficient management over the country’s trade relations with Iran. Since Iran was under international sanctions, those relations had to be regulated out of the conventional frameworks and this is a major factor that has increased the possibility of mistakes and has also provided a fertile ground for corruption in this case.

Meanwhile, the role played by secret services of certain countries which are benefitted by the weakening of both the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood government in Turkey should not be ignored. Part of the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) which operates under the influence of pro-Israeli lobby, the secret service of Saudi Arabia, as well as Russian intelligence agency have been doing their best to disclose every trivial detail of this corruption case, aggrandize it, and turn it into a full-blown crisis for Turkish government. In the meantime, attention should be also paid to the role played by certain persons and political groups in a few more countries (whose names is not difficult to guess), which have been cooperating with the aforesaid secret services by giving or selling detailed information related to economic and trade interactions between Iran and Turkey. Some of the people who are cooperating with this network, both in and out of Iran, and even in Azerbaijani Republic, have possibly done this on the basis of their personal or group interests or as a result of internal differences which have prompted them to disclose information as a means of political or guild-related revenge. Regardless of their motives, by doing this, these people and groups have been providing good propaganda fodder for foreign intelligence services without having received any remarkable rewards in return.

Another factor which has brought Erdogan to his current predicament was his unquestioning trust in Washington. The Turkish prime minister believed that the United States will continue its support for the rule of the moderate Muslim Brotherhood politicians in Turkey indefinitely. As a result, Erdogan failed to learn proper lessons from political developments in Egypt ignoring the fact that the White House leaders are masters of simultaneous use of apparently conflicting options. This means that Erdogan should have known that just as much as they were apparently supporting the Muslim Brotherhood in Turkey, the American leaders were thinking about other options as well. They always consider different options at the same time, so that, if conditions called for, they would be able to choose a better option and lend their support to it in order to help it gain power.

Miscalculations on the part of Ankara when forming regional and transregional alliances as well as putting undue trust in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and worse of all, an erroneous evaluation of the situation of the Syrian President Bashar Assad were other factors that have helped to bring Erdogan and his government into the current dire situation.

On the other hand, certain persons and governments that are opposed to the recent nuclear agreement reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of six major world powers, constitute another factor which is at work here. Their main goal is to spare no effort to prevent possible closeness between Iran and the United States and also to bring the aforesaid nuclear agreement to failure. As a result, they are now trying to mount pressure on both Iran and Turkey by putting too much emphasis on the existing corruption case. The role played by the US Treasury's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen has been exemplar in this regard. As one of the influential US politicians with direct links to the pro-Israeli lobby in the United States, Cohen has been regularly supporting imposition of tougher sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

The last factor, which is by no means less important than others, is the role played by political circles that are against resurgence of Iran's power in the region as well as those who are against the formation of a new alliance between Iran and Turkey. The possibility for such an alliance to come into being has greatly increased following the recent nuclear agreement reached [between Iran and the P5+1 group] in the Swiss city of Geneva and indications by the United States that it is ready to mend fences with Iran.

These developments have stirred serious concerns among political leaders in Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Israel. It is true that new revelations about the graft scandal in Turkey took place at a time that diplomatic officials in both Iran and Turkey were planning reciprocal visits to two capitals. This can be taken as additional evidence that the current ballyhoo over Turkey corruption case is, in fact, an effort to prevent further expansion of relations between two neighboring countries.

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Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017