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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/23/20

'Turkey is the actual target of the Israel-UAE deal'

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An asymmetric alliance of countries that share the common goal of limiting Turkey's influence in the region has been brewing for some time and the heralding of existing clandestine ties between these two countries (UAE and Israel) only goes to show that the alliance is now solidified, leading Turkish Daily Sabah said in an opinion piece on Saturday.

Israel and the UAE, alongside Egypt, Greece, Saudi Arabia and France, all share the goal of confining Turkey's reach in the Middle East and Eastern Mediterranean, Sabah said adding: In the past few weeks, these countries have experienced a flurry of diplomatic talks, with foreign ministers calling one another in panic in the wake of assertive moves by Turkey to secure its sovereign rights in the Mediterranean Sea.

Egypt's maritime delimitation deal with Greece, Israel's sudden outburst for support of the Greek position against Turkey in the Mediterranean and constant telephone traffic between the Gulf and Athens must all be considered in the same scope as the accord between the UAE and Israel, Sabah argued. The way that this deal is being presented as a gift to the Palestinian people, as Israel has agreed to for the time being suspending settlement activities, is also a direct challenge to Turkey's championship of the Palestinian cause.

Pundits have framed the landmark decision between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Israel to establish diplomatic relations as a step toward countering Iranian influence in the region. Indeed, this is the reason why U.S. President Donald Trump and his Iran-phobic administration have rejoiced at the prospect of an Emirati-Israeli entente in the Middle East. While this argument to a great extent is true, the move was actually made against Turkey as much as Iran, perhaps even more so, the Daily Sabah argued adding:

"Not a day goes by that the same (UAE minister of state for foreign affairs ) Anwar Gargash tweets about Turkey's allegedly imperialistic ambitions in the region, accusing Turkey of meddling in Arab affairs. This is why it is unsurprising that President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan vocally criticized the deal between Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi, threatening to recall the Turkish ambassador in Abu Dhabi or even downgrade diplomatic relations. Turkish officials are aware of the group that Turkey confronts in the region, and the UAE is their spokesperson.

"While most Arab governments lack the capacity and initiative to genuinely uphold the Palestinian cause, Turkey has been committed to it over the past decade. Most recently, Ankara sent a large amount of medical aid to Palestinians in the wake of the pandemic."

About Turkey's relations with Israel, the daily Sabah pointed out that Turkey does negotiate and maintain diplomatic relations with Israel, but unlike the UAE, it does not do it to advance some grand geopolitical strategy. It said that Turkey's relations with Israel produce favorable results for the Palestinians, as Turkey negotiates on their behalf, all the while enjoying mass support from the Palestinian people.

Turkey's hard power capabilities are enough of a deterrent to keep this brewing coalition at bay, the Daily Sabah argued and said: "These capabilities have been tested in Libya and have succeeded, and they shall succeed again in the Eastern Mediterranean. While military muscle surely counts in the standoff, Turkey will continue to employ a diplomatic strategy to keep this novel coalition at bay."

While the UAE has fashioned itself as a leader of the Arab world and negotiator on behalf of the Palestinians, this is clearly not the case. Major Palestinian leaders, including Abbas himself, have denounced the deal and lashed out against the Emirati leadership. If Turkey is able to continue delegitimizing the UAE's position in the Arab-Muslim world then the Emiratis will find that their hopes for regional leadership are futile, the Daily Sabh concluded.

Why Turkey Has Become Israel's Enemy?

Israel recognizes the danger Erdogan poses and has included Turkey in its new defense plans for the first time ever, Israel Today said on August 5 whiting under the above title. The Israeli government knows about Erdogan's plans for Jerusalem and also about Turkey's ties to Hamas and the other Palestinian terror movements.

The Turkish President is known for his bellicose rhetoric against Israel, but he now has vowed to "liberate" Jerusalem from its "invaders" after upsetting the Christian world by reconverting the Hagia Sophia cathedral in Istanbul into a mosque last week, Israel Today said.

The Turkish dictator runs several Muslim charity projects in Jerusalem that were set up to radicalize the Arab community in the Holy City, it said adding: Erdogan has also attempted to infiltrate the Waqf, the Palestinian and Jordanian custodian of the Muslim holy places in Jerusalem.

Erdogan no longer hides his Ottoman aspirations and regards Israel as a foreign implant in the midst of the Ummah, the world community of Muslims. If one takes a look at the wider picture of Turkey's activities in the Middle East and beyond it becomes clear that Erdogan is actively pursuing his dream of resurrecting the Ottoman Empire, Israel Today argued and said:

Turkey also seeks to expand its influence over countries such as Somalia, where the Turkish army has set up a base, and Qatar, where the Turkish army also has a presence and has a clear vision regarding Turkey's role in the region and the world, and that vision centers on restoring the Ottoman Caliphate.

It was for this reason that Erdogan very conspicuously chose the date of July 24 to inaugurate Hagia Sophia as a mosque and provoke the Christian world. That was the day that the Lausanne Treaty was signed one hundred years ago. Erdogan has repeatedly made clear he thinks the Treaty that put an end to the Ottoman Empire and created Ataturk's secular and modern Turkey is no longer valid.

He has said the same about the Sykes-Picot agreement that divided the Middle East after the defeat of the Ottoman Empire. In short, he's acting upon his words, Israel Today concluded.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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