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06/28/2020

The trap being set for Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean

The trap being set for Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean

Diplomacy requires the ability to make assessments not only in the short term, but also in the medium and long term and requires taking historical facts into account before taking any actions. Failure to do so often makes it so the gains made are limited to a short term period, while losses are suffered in the long run.

The first reflections of the multipolar world

It would be useful for anyone to study the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, which has been a crossing point for civilizations throughout history. The destinies of many empires and nations such as Ancient Greece, Rome, Egypt, Byzantium and the Ottomans were determined in these fertile coasts of the Eastern Mediterranean, stretching from Levant to North Africa. Many nations have risen to being an empire by their victories in the Mediterranean, and fell apart due to their defeats in the same region. The Eastern Mediterranean is witnessing extremely flexible alliances and diplomatic tides today, such as has never been seen in any other period of history. We are now far beyond the confrontations of the old world, the bipolar equations of the Cold War, and the unipolar US-centric world order that was experienced after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The new and Multipolar World’s chaotic and flexible communications network that holds many fronts within is now being realized in the Eastern Mediterranean. This is a period that could not be well-understood with a mindset from the old world…

What are Ankara`s next steps in Libya?

 

Which alliances?

Turkish military achievements in the Eastern Mediterranean must now be supported by political actions. The deals signed with the Government of National Accord in Libya and rapprochement with Italy and Iran’s recent announcement of support in the Eastern Mediterranean seem to be diplomatic gains. Relations are also being strengthened with Libya’s neighbors, such as Chad and Niger, with the supply of medical aid to these countries. While the Atlantic alliance continues its anti-Turkish actions through Greece and Greek Cyprus, the crack between Turkey and Egypt is being deepened. Egyptian President Al-Sisi’s statements during his visit to the western border and the insistence on Sirte have made the situation in Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean very critical. Now, the whole world is waiting for Turkey’s answer and next steps.

Is an Ankara-Moscow-Cairo axis a possible solution in Libya?

 

Trap

It is clear that a trap is being set, similar to the Iran-Iraq War which was provoked in the year 1980. With the updated version of the Greater Middle East Project, known as the deal of the century, the US government has initiated a new Jerusalem-based restructuring in the region. Trump, while taking actions to withdraw the troops from many countries in the region, mainly from Afghanistan, has implicitly declared that America would continue its sovereignty in the region through the local actors, and not through the American troops directly. The new plan also attaches an important role to the United Arab Emirates and Israel. These two countries have embarked on using their influences over the Arab countries in different ways, as the US has initiated a policy to bring Arab countries and their peoples against Turkey and Iran. Many people whom I spoke to throughout the region have noted that propaganda is being conducted through the media and NGOs that Turkey and Iran are the enemies of the Arab world and not Israel. Selected intellectuals from the Arab countries are being invited to Israel and are being reeducated in the Gulf countries for this purpose. Both Turkish and Iranian presence in the Arab nation of Syria, Iran’s activities in other Arab countries and particularly in Yemen, Turkey’s Libyan politics and its dispute with Egypt, are the main topics of this propaganda. It is also important to understand the constant anti-Turkish statements made within Arab League as part of this plan. On the other hand, the Gulf Countries are pursuing a policy that constantly sets Al-Sisi against Turkey, using their economic influence on Egypt. Egyptian sources have verified that under Al-Sisi’s recent statements lies the concerns about securing its western borders, as well as the pressures from the Gulf countries. We can see that a background for a conflict between Turkey and Egypt is being prepared.

Turkey-Egypt relations must be normalized

Victors of the war

When we put the examples from history and current confrontations together, it becomes clear that imperialism will be the only victor of a potential conflict between these two countries. To make it clear:

  1. In the event of a full-fledged conflict, the situation in Libya would become even more unsettling, and the war of attrition against the Turkish-backed forces would deepen even further.
  2. It would set the background for Turkey to become an archenemy of the Arab peoples through Egypt, as it is dictated by the US-Israel-Gulf axis’ plans.
  3. A full-fledged conflict between Ankara and Cairo would destabilize the already deteriorated region, as the US furthers its plans of “creative anarchy” in the region.
  4. It would be more difficult to improve relations between the two neighboring nations, even if the government changes in Egypt.
  5. Any mutually economic and cultural relations would come to an end.
  6. The Egyptian lobbies influencing in Africa and the Middle East would increase the anti-Turkey sentiments, thus the PKK and FETO terrorist organizations would gain new ground to act on freely.

Risking the medium and long-term interests for short-term gains is not a good strategy. First, the Egyptian side must understand that Turkey is in Libya for the defense of its Blue Homeland and not for the “secret agenda of Muslim Brotherhood (Al-Ikhwan)”. Also, it is of no use to anybody to cooperate with countries like the United Arab Emirates.

Dialogue

The government in Turkey should put their insistence of not recognizing the Sisi administration aside and come to an understanding with Egypt. The lack of a dialogue between Ankara and Cairo would allow the United States the other forces to move between these open cracks. The immediate re-establishment of diplomatic relations would lower the tensions in the region, especially in Libya. There is a fact that must not be forgotten when making policies: individuals and governments are temporary, but the ancient civilizations of the region are permanent. In these days when the light beams of history are shined upon the Eastern Mediterranean once again, let us follow strategies based on regional friendship, rather than isolated incidents.

 
Onur Sinan Güzaltan
Onur Sinan Güzaltan was born in Istanbul in 1985. He had his Bachelors's degree in Law, from the Paris-Est Créteil Val de Marne Universty /Paris XII and a Master's degree in International and European Law. He got his certificate of diploma equivalence at Galatasaray University. Later, he got a Master's degree in International Trade Law, at the Institut de Droit des Affaires Internationales, founded jointly by the Sorbonne Universty and the Cairo Universty. In this process, he had served as the Cairo representative for the Aydinlik Newspaper. He has several articles and television streams within the international press, in such as People's Daily, Al Yaum, Al Ahram, Russia Today FranceAl Youm Al Sabea. In addition to being the author of the Tanrı Bizi İster Mi?, a work that studies the 2011-2013 political period in Egypt, he had also contributed to the multi-author study titled Ortadoğu Çıkmazında Türkiye, with an article that focused on the Turkish-Egyptian relations. While currently working as a lawyer, he also writes a weekly column for Aydinlik Newspaper on the subject of international politics and geopolitics.

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