Erdogan does not pose danger, his ideas do

June 22, 2020
Tariq Al-Homayed

THE Turkish danger facing our region, from Syria to Libya through Iraq, is not represented only by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as an individual, but his ideas and they are too complicated to be summed up in a short column as he is too ambitious for leadership, perhaps to the extent of being crazy.

The story is that Erdogan’s course of action is based always on justifications, and this is normal as he needs a scheme that mobilizes him. The justification for his scheme is the revival of the new Ottoman Empire, and for this reason Erdogan speaks clearly about the history of Turkey in Libya, and the “sacrifices.”

The other issue is that Erdogan, since the Arab Spring, posed himself as a defender of the Muslim Brotherhood, and he is posing himself as an Islamist and symbol of the Muslim Brotherhood. Though the Turkish Brotherhood differs from that of Egypt and the rest of the Brotherhood outfits, they converge on one idea, which is the most dangerous.

All the Muslim Brotherhood factions, along with Erdogan, do not believe in the concept of the state. Here it is necessary to have some explanations. The Muslim Brotherhood in Arab countries does not believe in the concept of the state, but rather on the concept of the motherland.

While Erdogan does not believe in all Arab countries, but only believes in a single country, which is Turkey, and that also not on the model of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, but that of the Ottoman Empire.

If Erdogan was delusional, the map of his movement indicates that he is moving along the Ottoman line, and he is clear about his opponents.

They are Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, because they are the last strongholds of the concept of the Arab state, while many of the Arab countries have been penetrated by either occupation or Iranian influence or have been under an Israeli threat. The rest of them are economically exhausted, and ransacked by parties who are loyal to external forces.

Therefore, the danger is not only Erdogan as a person, but the idea he represents, and that idea has penetrated into some of our Arab countries as well as into the minds of some elites.

And for various reasons, the most prominent of which is the Ottoman cover, and this is a reality, and hence there are opponents for it. Indeed, Turkey is now their political homeland.

The danger is that Erdogan wears the cloak of the Brotherhood because it gives him a political cover to interfere in the Arab countries, and he did it with Sudan’s Brotherhood ally Al-Bashir, who is a defender of Hamas, which is fighting for Erdogan.

What happens in Libya is a good example because it is not a story of oil and gas alone, but it seems Turkey behaves as if it is like Egypt, which is the real neighbor of Libya.

And if we assume, for the sake of a controversy, that Erdogan is just politically insane, then the risk is that the one who will succeed him in Turkey will find two things: First, the best escape from the mess is to create further trouble in the Arab world, which is already teetering toward exhaustion and failure, if Erdogan succeeds in his current design.

The second issue is that the region has already been divided into Iranian, Turkish and Israeli centers of influence, and hence our moderate countries — Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE — would remain in a state of permanent exhaustion. Therefore, Erdogan’s danger should not be treated lightly.

June 22, 2020
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