Turkey has had a busy year. Aside from its four-year unprecedented military presence in Qatar, it has, this year, launched an invasion of northern Syria as well as agreed on military cooperation with Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA), helping arm the militias of Fayez Al Sarraj with advanced weapons and providing military training.
Its meddling in the Arab world has not gone unnoticed and Arabs fear its part of larger plan of domination.
On Sunday, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, said that some non-Arab governments are making an attempt to expand their influence at the cost of Arab states.
He accused these governments of promoting extremism and expansionism to the detriment of Arabs.
“The region is plagued by a radical, agitating speech pursued by governments preoccupied with expanding their influence at the expense of the Arab world,” Garghash tweeted without giving names. Gargash’s comments came a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country will increase its military support to the Libyan government based in Tripoli “if necessary” and will evaluate ground, air and marine options.
Turkey's backing of the Brotherhood has driven a wedge in the Arab world, further weakening the Arabs much to the liking of non-Arab players such as Israel and Iran
The arming of the GNA militias goes against a UN-imposed arms embargo and further militarisation of the conflict will unfortunately lead to a bloodbath.
Turkish soldiers have also viciously attacked Kurds in northern Syria — the same Kurds that were essential in defeating Daesh.
The Arabs stand firm in denouncing any occupation of their lands, whether it comes from Israel, Iran or Turkey.
These audacious steps by Ankara have been met with worry by Arabs who do not wish to return to the dark days of Ottoman rule.
It seems that Turkey, under Erdogan, wants to relive its Ottoman past of occupation of Arab lands from 1517 to the end of First World War.
Despite the romanisation of this period of time, and Turkey’s false portrayal of itself as the “protectors of religion” it was a very dark period of time for Arabs living under Ottoman occupation.
Erdogan is a known supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood — outlawed by several Arab states — which has encouraged extremism and sectarianism in the Arab world.
His backing of the Brotherhood has driven a wedge in the Arab world, further weakening the Arabs much to the liking of non-Arab players such as Israel and Iran.
It is time for Turkey to cease its backing of extremists which is ripping the region apart.