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07/28/2020

Who would be the victor of a war between Turkey and Egypt?

Who would be the victor of a war between Turkey and Egypt?

The dispute between the two countries, which began in 2013 when Mohammad Morsi was overthrown and General Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi had come to power, has deepened even more with the polarization in the Eastern Mediterranean, and now has come to a point of possible conflict over Libya.

After the Egyptian Parliament gave President al-Sisi the right “to take the necessary measures to protect the Egyptian national security”, or in other words the authority to make war, the domestic and the foreign media began to publish a number of reports comparing the army sizes of the two countries.

Today, new actions are being taken in order to push Egypt against Turkey, actions which can be traced back to France and the Gulf countries, and secretly by the United States.

With war at the doorstep, the question before us is very clear; Who would win a war between Turkey and Egypt?

SHORT-TERM GEOPOLITICAL AND IDEOLOGICAL MATTERS

Unfortunately, there is a powerful group of people that are not doing enough to avert potential war between the two great civilizations of the Mediterranean, instead focusing on short-term geopolitical and/or ideological matters.

The geopolitical approach is linear and operates on a black and white axis, looking at the region like a chessboard with nations as pieces, devoid of any historic or social realities.

When we consider the possible outcomes of a war between Turkey and Egypt only through a geopolitical perspective, we are left with a Libya where cities like Sirte and Jufra are likely to change hands, where direct conflict and proxy wars rage, and finally an eventual partition via an agreement by an international platform.

The outcomes of a restricted geopolitical perspective from this picture will only be limited to a short-term victory in the Eastern Mediterranean and maybe the control of a few oil wells in Libya.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s ideological approach could only predict that al-Sisi’s possible defeat would lead to another rise of a moderate Islamist wave in North Africa and the Middle East, and particularly in Egypt.

THE SYRIAN EXAMPLE

We have already experienced the harms of acting only on geopolitical and ideological instinct in Syria.

The PKK/PYD/YPG terrorist organizations, as well as numerous jihadist organizations, have filled the power vacuum left by the disfunctions of state in Syria. Today, these organizations do not only threaten Syrian national security, but also the national securities of Turkey and Iran.

On the other hand, millions of Syrian refugees flocking to Turkey, have disrupted the social structure and caused economic havoc in our country.

Most importantly, Turkey is close to war with a neighboring country, which will lead the country to suffer not only in the short term but also in the long term.

Egypt, which has an economic, military and political depth and a population of more than 100 million (compared to Syria’s 17 million) is surely a bigger rock to move. It is clear that moving this rock will cause some major earthquakes, not only in the region throughout the world.

The fire of a power vacuum in Egypt in relation to Libya will turn not only North Africa, but also our entire region into a fire pit, and the effects of these broken fault lines will be felt even from Ankara.

If such a situation occurs, it will not matter who is in charge in Egypt or Libya, and we will be left with the resulting destruction.

Any possible military success will be a Pyrrhic Victory and the instability in the region will eventually affect Turkey.

THE VICTOR WILL BE THE US-ISRAEL-GULF FRONT

Let us also indicate that the al-Sisi administration’s policy of rapprochement with the West against Turkey is as much to blame at this point as the AKP’s insistence on the Muslim Brotherhood.

However, the fact that Egypt has not yet signed an anti-Turkey agreement in the Eastern Mediterranean shows us that the doors are still open for a rapprochement.

At this point, it is important to share what Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said last week, namely that negotiations are being held by chargé d’affaires by the order of experts and the president at the level of foreign ministers with Egypt.

Egypt also made statements that they had no intention of getting into a full-fledged conflict with Turkey.

It is clear that the conflict between these two countries will not only be limited to Sirte and Jufra or Libya in general, but instead it will turn into a conflict in which third forces will intervene.

Today, the polarization in Libya is exciting the imperialist forces and their collaborators, especially the United States-Israel and the Gulf countries.

It is important to evaluate the warmongering between Turkey and Egypt, in parallel with the “Deal of the Century”: a second version of the Greater Middle East Project.

There are many signs that the project of the former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, one of the architects of the Greater Middle East Project, i.e. ensuring “Creative Chaos” between ethnic groups, peoples and countries of the Middle East to keep them in constant conflict, is still in place.

Those who are warmongers today, should remember that neither Turkey nor Egypt will be the victor of a possible war… They want us to be dragged into a war where the only true victor will be the US-Israel-Gulf axis.

THE SOLUTION

It is important to understand that we are on the verge of a large and historic conflict as we seek a solution.

Of course, the Turkish Armed Forces will successfully accomplish their duties and protect the interests of the country, even in the event of a potential conflict, just as they did in Libya and in the other corners of the world… but military success is incomplete when not accompanied by correct diplomacy.

A possible conflict with Egypt will lead to medium and long-term devastation that could go even beyond the power of diplomacy, and cause bloodshed among these nations.

Therefore, a political will free from ideological binds and short-term plans is necessary .

Concretely, we should seek;

1. Direct talks between Turkish and Egyptian army officers on the matters of Sirte and Jufra,

2. Mutual contacts through unofficial delegations (retired diplomats, soldiers, academics, journalists, experts),

3. Lowering the tension in the media,

4. Turkey taking a neutral stance on Ikhwan, and Egypt not allowing any anti-Turkish Gulf-backed propaganda,

5. Talks between experts on the issue of the Eastern Mediterranean,

6. Taking steps to relieve tension in trade relations, which could pave the way for the normalization of relations between these two countries.

It is worth noting that the losses in the medium and long-term would be great on both sides, in the event of a conflict between Turkey and Egypt.

Ankara’s support for Ikhwan is just as wrong as Egypt being provoked by some third forces and aggressively engaging in an aggressive attitude towards Turkey.

Steps that can lower the tensions and de-escalate conflicts in the area.

Turkey is able defend its interests while preventing a conflict with its neighbors.

We must not get stuck following ideological obsessions and short-term plans that lack an historical perspective.

If geography is our destiny, then Turkish-Egyptian friendship is a necessity.

 
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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