Erdoğan’s UAE Visit & Relationship with "Israel"

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Political Observation - Erdoğan’s UAE Visit & Relationship with "Israel"

The visit of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the Emirates on 14-15 February came in response to the visit staged by Abu Dhabi’s crown prince and the de facto UAE ruler Mohammed bin Zayed to Turkey on 24 November 2021. The visit came as a reaction to the changes pertinent to the relationship with Iran and the Gulf States pursued by America under the tenure of the Democrats. During the visit, Turkey and the UAE signed 12 joint agreements in various fields the most important of which was an agreement on the defence industry which America aims to integrate with host of foreign partners such as Ukraine and the UAE to prevent Turkey from being independent in this field.

It seems the Emirates’ rulers have realised that they had to follow in the footsteps of Egypt and Saudi who had expressed a desire to have closer relations with Turkey, and to resume the race with Qatar in serving America and stimulate her presence in the region following the remarkable role Qatar played in Afghanistan and the recent partnership concluded between Qatar and NATO.

Hence, following a lingering tussle between Turkey and the Emirates, which had backed all of Turkey’s opponents, President Erdoğan received a warm welcome during his visit which was described as historic. This came in the context of luring Turkey and harnessing her in securing the strategic equilibrium in the Middle East and Gulf security following the policy of downsizing Iran and energizing the process of the regional solution, and in the context of containing the Turkish leadership which has so far withstood all the efforts aimed at bringing it back in to the stable of affiliated states.

It is no secret that the transformation of the radically hostile standpoint of the Emirates towards Turkey and the Justice and Development Party (AKP), and towards all that which is attributed to Islam, does not deviate from the instructions of the US and the exigencies of the changes that followed America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, as well as the forthcoming challenges with China and Russia. Although this rapprochement represented a carrot for Erdoğan, who does not object to the intersection of his interests with those of America and her agents as per the principle of expediency and pragmatism, the Emirati-Turkish rapprochement, however, at a time when the Turkish economy is deteriorating and Erdoğan is drawing nearer to the elections’ season with the urgent need to improve the economic indicators, muzzle the domestic resentment and thwart the foreign interventions, in addition to his U-turn in the relationship with Saudi and Egypt, and America’s decision to shore up his standpoint in the Eastern Mediterranean at the expense of Greece and France, all this falls under a host of American demands pertinent to Erdoğan’s understandings with Russia, who has been subjected to a NATO campaign in the Ukrainian scene to weaken her relationship with Germany and perturb her relationship with France and China. It also falls under the requirements to tackle Erdoğan’s persistent impact on America’s policies towards the Turkish domestic file and his harassment of her agents, the Syrian file and the Kurds, the relationship with "Israel", and to provide a cover for the states that have normalised their relations with the Zionist entity and concluded an alliance with it which explains the recent inducement of the file pertinent to the relationship between Turkey and the usurping entity.

Therefore, what is occurring in terms of the openness in Erdoğan’s foreign policy amidst the US economic pressures and the activity of the Turkish opposition, such as the meeting between the UK ambassador and the mayor of Istanbul Ekrem İmamoğlu, and the meeting of the latter with the US ambassador, falls under the attempts to lure Erdoğan and impose a custodianship on his foreign relations, restructure and redesign them according to the American vision without however impinging on Erdoğan’s interests outside the context of affiliation, and in an attempt to bring Turkey back to the stable of obedience following the failed coup to topple Erdoğan in 2016.

In this context, Erdoğan aspires to harness the relationship with the Emirates and the visit of the Zionist entity’s president Isaac Herzog to Turkey in several issues pertinent to domestic policy, the tussle over Eastern Mediterranean oil and in mellowing the relationship with Biden’s administration, which has been fraught with rifts. Erdoğan announced this visit as early as 27 January 2022 through a host of statements aired by Anadolu Agency as he commented on the nature of the relationship between Turkey and "Israel"; he said “a new phase in the relations between Turkey and "Israel" will begin with the visit of the "Israeli" president.”

It seems that America’s agents have either absorbed these changes themselves or received their orders from the White House; and subsequently, they set about improving their relationship with Qatar and then moved towards Turkey, towards whom they had been hostile, to turn with her a new leaf as they realised that she wielded influence in several files of the region, especially Syria, Iraq, Libya and East Africa.

Erdoğan would not have announced the visit of Herzog had he not concluded a host of secret and unannounced understandings with America pertaining to sharing the Eastern Mediterranean’s oil. "Israeli" newspaper Jerusalem Post reported that the Biden administration informed "Israel", Cyprus and Greece in the past few weeks that it no longer supported the "Israeli" gas pipeline to Europe. For his part, Erdoğan commented on this American announcement by saying “this project was unfeasible; they had done all the financial calculations and concluded that there was nothing positive in this project.” He added that such projects could not be successful without the help of Turkey. He explicitly reiterated this aim during a statement aired by Anadolu Agency on 27 January 2022 as he announced Herzog’s visit by saying “we did in the past hold a few meetings with "Israeli" stakeholders and confirmed the mutual cooperation to export gas to Europe; and Turkey is still ready for joint action.”

Meanwhile, the president of TUSIAD, Simone Kaslowski, met with several opposition leaders and his association issued a communiqué calling on Erdoğan to retract from lowering the interest rate and to hold early elections. This prompted Erdoğan to issue a direct warning to the president of the TUSIAD association, urging him to refrain from meddling in the way the political affairs of the country are run and to focus his efforts on trade and industry; he reminded him that “Turkey today is not the same as that of the past,” in reference to the infiltration of TUSIAD in the state’s financial institutions.

Hence, the rapprochement of Erdoğan and his group with the Emirates and "Israel" are designed to extinguish the blazing foreign front in order to generate the necessary provisions to win the elections in 2023, by weakening the domestic and foreign support given to the Turkish opposition, especially as Erdoğan has often announced that Turkey has been facing an economic war since the failed coup of July 2016.

16 Rajab 1443h
17 February 2022