by Ibrahim Kazerooni and Rob Prince
As we write these words, from all appearances, the United States, UK and France, with considerable support from Israel, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, is on the verge of launching a Cruise missile attack against Syria. Turkey, for its part, has been an intimate player in the US plans to bring down the Syrian Assad government and will continue to play a prominent role to this end. But, despite this, Turkish influence in the Arab world is starting to shrink as the Turkish alliance with Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhoods is unraveling, and with it, a card in Washington’s Middle Eastern deck is crumbling. Central to all this are the events in Egypt, the removal of Morsi from power and the campaign by the current Egyptian government to crush the Muslim Brotherhoods politically.
In what follows, we look at the evolution – and devolution – of Turkey’s position.
In the past few days a number of reports have surfaced on Turkey’s indignation on the turn over the events in Egypt. Yeni Shafak the newspaper close to the Turkish prime minister published a scathing article against the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, UAE as well as Palestinian Mahmud Abbas calling them the “the axis of evil” in the Middle East. This was followed by Bekir Bozdag, Turkish deputy prime minister, attacking the Arab Cooperation Council for not taking a stronger position on Egypt’s military takeover and the removal of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhoods (MB) from office. Turkish leaders have also taken to laying the blame for the Egyptian coup at Israel’s doorstep (ironically, as Turkey moves closer to Israel strategically, with Washington’s encouragement). Continue reading