Elections in Syria: Forgotten old resentments?

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At the NATO summit in Brussels on June 14th, strategically important topics were discussed, such as the relations of the allies with China and their attitude towards President Putin’s Russia. Member States’ positions on these issues did not seem clear-cut and diplomats struggled to find the right wording for the final communiqué. What became clear, however, was an apparently marginal fact: the total “physical” as well as political isolation of Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan.

After the Turkish President was described by Prime Minister Draghi as a “dictator and autocrat”, he also had to endure the hard reproaches of the US State Department, which at the end of the “Eleven Day War” between Israel and Israel HamasHe did not hesitate to use unusually harsh language to condemn some of his public statements in the early days of the war when, to emphasize his thoughts to the Israeli leadership, he called Benjamin Netanyahu “the Jewish Prime Minister”.

The derogatory use of the word “Jewish” instead of “Israeli” sparked a reaction from President Biden’s government. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ned Price was instructed to “emphatically and unequivocally condemn the anti-Semitic remarks made by the Turkish President” and urged him to “refrain from inciting remarks that could incite further violence … Semitism is reprehensible and should be on the World stage have no place ”.

After years of struggling to become a true regional power, President Erdogan’s Turkey is now on the sidelines of the political scene and the confused expression of the Turkish leader can be seen in photos of the June 14 NATO summit – physically of him Pointing to other heads in isolation from state and government – appears as an iconic testimony to the irrelevance that Turkey was condemned to after a decade of ruthless and counterproductive political and military steps due to its president’s thirst for adventure.

To show that he supports the Palestinian cause on the front line, President Erdogan approved the establishment of the “Freedom Flotilla”, a naval convoy that – under the Turkish flag – the Israeli sea blockade of the Gaza Strip in the spring of 2010.

On May 31, 2020, Israeli commandos caught the Mavi Marmara Ship that not only transports humanitarian aid, but also Hamas Militants are trying to re-enter the Gaza Strip illegally.

As soon as Israeli soldiers stepped onto the deck of the Turkish ship, they were confronted by Palestinians and crew members armed with axes, knives and iron bars. Ten Palestinians and Turkish sailors died in the ensuing clashes, but the worst wounds were inflicted on Turkish-Israeli relations.

Turkey broke off diplomatic relations with Israel – the long-term relations that go back to 1949, when Turkey was the first and for many years only Muslim country to recognize the State of Israel, and thus also important economic and military relations for the whole of the country The Middle East is the example of how integration and pacification paths between Muslims and Jews could be followed.

Since 2011, with the outbreak of the so-called “Arab Spring”, President Erdogan has tried in every way to take a leading role in a series of events that – instead of exporting liberal democracies to the region – aim to promote the victory of the “Muslim Brotherhood” and the most backward and fundamentalist Islam.

While President Erdogan believed that he could easily solve his competition with Assad’s Syria and at the same time dismiss the problem of Turkish and Syrian-Kurdish irredentism, President Erdogan intervened massively in the Syrian civil war by not only hitting the militias of the “Syrian Liberation Army”, but also to the Salafist formations of Jabhat Al Nusra and even ISIS.

We all know what happened: Syria is in ruins after a decade of civil war, but Bashar al-Assad is still in power; the rebels are now locked in small niches of resistance and Russia, which intervened on the side of Damascus and thus overturned the outcome of the conflict, is firmly anchored in the country, while Turkey is not only excluded from the promising business of rebuilding Syria, but itself finds coping with a massive refugee crisis.

In President Erdogan’s sometimes rash endeavor to make his country the role of the leading regional power, his activism led him to intervene against the Christian Armenians in support of the Azerbaijani Turkmen in the Nagorno-Karabakh crisis, with the result that, according to the Last crisis in autumn 2020, Turkey had to step aside to let Russia play the role of the emergency force and peacekeeping force.

In Libya too – after sending weapons and mercenaries in support of al-Sarraj’s national unity government (GNA) – the Turkish role lost influence than the efforts of the Turkish leader after its resignation in January last year.

In 2017, in a futile attempt to send a signal to NATO and U.S. allies, President Erdogan purchased $ 2.5 million S-400 surface-to-air missile systems from Russia.

The move did not please the then US President Donald Trump, who immediately imposed economic and military sanctions on Turkey and thus contributed to the decline of its economy and its increasing international isolation.

Recently it was reported that President Erdogan has decided to enlist the Russian technicians in charge of servicing the S-400 at the Incirlick base – which is also a NATO base – with the result of angering Vladimir Putin of apparently none Desires to see sophisticated equipment in the hands of the Americans.

The bottom line of all of these tangled moves is that U.S. sanctions remain in place while the Russians can only regret having trusted an unreliable leader.

Domestically, too, things are not going well despite the repression after the failed coup in 2016.

The deep economic crisis due to excessive military spending, insufficient administrative capacity and rampant corruption as well as the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic are making the situation more difficult for the Turkish president and his AKP (Justice and Development) party, which has ruled the country without interruption since 2002.

The recent local elections, in which the AKP was defeated, and the election polls show that despite the tactical alliance between President Erdogan’s party and the ultra-nationalist national movement, a success for the president and his party in the parliamentary and presidential elections in 2023 seems anything but for sure.

What makes President Erdogan’s sleep even more restless is certainly the “Peker scandal” that has made headlines in all Turkish newspapers and social media in recent days.

Sedat Peker, a businessman who previously worked for the right-wing extremist organization “Gray Wolves “ (the same to which Ali Agca, known for the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II, was a part) has long been a supporter of Tayyp Recep Erdogan and is considered a major supplier of weapons to jihadist Groups involved in the Syrian civil war.

After being charged with corruption and criminal conspiracy last April, he went into exile first in Montenegro and then in the United Arab Emirates, from where he led a relentless campaign against President Erdogan and his party on allegations of corruption and other crimes and misdemeanors.

Under the interested supervision of Mohamed Dalhan, the former head of the Palestinian secret service in the Gaza Strip, after the break with the United Arab Emirates into exile Hamas, Sedat Peker floods the social media daily with allegations against the “magic circle” of the Turkish president, starting with Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu and his ally Mehemet Agar, the former police chief, who, in Peker’s opinion, are not only responsible for corruption but also for extortion. Drug trafficking and murder.

Despite state censorship, these sensational accusations dominate the political debate in Turkey.

Mohammed Dalhan, the Palestinian secret agent, is helping Sedat Peker out of revenge Hamas and thus against his Turkish supporter, and because of the Abu Dhabi government, for which he now works, Turkey’s attempts to sabotage the “Abraham Agreement” between Israel and moderate Arab countries, and the explicit support that President Erdogan has for Hamas during the recent “Eleven Day War”. The latter also ended thanks to the mediation of Egypt – a diplomatic success for the moderate Arab front, which continues to sideline Turkey and its leader, as they – observant Sunnis – are now forced to move closer to the heretical Shiites of Iran, who are only those who now seem to do full credit to President Erdogan, who is now being banished like a bad student to a corner of the classroom, from which he will find it difficult to get out without a clear change of course towards a more moderate stance on domestic politics and a rapprochement with the West in Foreign Policy.



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