Despite all Arab efforts to have an amicable relationship with Turkey, Ankara seems unhinged in its pursuit of more hostile policies.
In its meeting in Cairo last week, the Arab League has condemned the Turkish military intervention in Libya, Syria, and Iraq. France also condemned “the aggressive intervention” of Turkey in Libya. The Turkish behaviour is “very problematic” and “not acceptable,” a statement by the French presidency said.
The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is the main sponsor of the extremist groups in Syria. Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict more than nine years ago, Ankara has been sheltering, training, and arming those groups which committed the worst atrocities in the conflict.
In Libya, Turkey is doing the same. The Turkish army has increased its presence in two key bases to offer military support to the militias that fight the national army. Ankara hopes to expand its destabilising influence in North Africa as part of Erdogan’s grand scheme of restoring Turkey’s past hegemony in the Middle East.
Erdogan’s military adventurism in the Arab region is perplexing, especially when it seems to be in coordination with Iran, which for long observed the same aggressive behaviour...
In Iraq, Turkey has launched a major offensive in Iraq’s northern territory on the pretext of fighting Kurdish groups. On Tuesday, the Iraqi foreign ministry summoned Turkey’s ambassador to protest Ankara’s attack on Iraq’s sovereignty and territorial sanctity.
Turkey’s military intervention in the Arab world — in Iraq, Syria and Libya — is “a threat to the region,” Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit said during the Arab League meeting last week.
Erdogan’s military adventurism in the Arab region is perplexing, especially when it seems to be in coordination with Iran, which for long observed the same aggressive behaviour in Iraq, Lebanon, Syria and Yemen. What is clear though is that both the countries’ designs undermine the Arab national security.
The Arab world is at the crossroads today as Israel plans to annex the occupied West Bank, which will certainly deepen the Arab-Israeli conflict. While the Arab world looks for the support of those who claim to sympathise with the Palestinian cause to halt the Israeli assault, Turkey has been steadily mending its ties with the Benjamin Netanyahu government.
“Despite all of the tensions, there has been more optimism recently about a possible thaw in Turkey-Israel relations,” the leading Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah wrote on June 3. It cites as an example the resumption of Israeli carrier El Al’s cargo flights to Turkey, and Ankara’s massive medical aid to help Israel fight the coronavirus pandemic.
That’s Erdogan’s hypocrisy at its best. He sends Israel medical aid but keeps sending to the Arab region mercenaries and weapons that kill thousands of innocent people.