OPINION: Erdogan’s U-Turn and his visit to Saudi Arabia

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by Waqar Khan

Erdogan expressed his wish to visit the Kingdom, but he was kept on a waiting list.

Believe me, Iran, Muslim Brotherhood, Left and America are in the state of shock the way Mohammad bin Salman is slowly turning the tide of world politics along with the Middle East politics.

Now even the bitter opponent Turkey, President Erdogan, has tried to fix relations by reaching out to Saudi Arabia. Bitterness started between the two countries after the alleged murder of Jamal Khashoggi inside the Istanbul Consulate in October 2018, and Erdogan directly targeted the Saudi leadership for this, on which Saudi took a tough stand, by unofficially boycotting Turkish goods. And there was a complete ban on doing business, due to which up to 98% of Turkey’s imports and exports were stopped by Saudi Arabia.

Apart from this, many Arab countries also banned Turkish products, after which Turkey’s economy went to the lowest level and the lira hit the lowest level in 20 years, almost hitting 16.69 against the dollar while it was 7-8 during 2010-2012. After the economic downfall, the public in Turkey began to turn against Erdogan, inflation skyrocketed, and businesses collapsed, and the reduction in tourism sectors due to Corona, and the Arab boycott had a severe effect on the industries. Turk lobbyists pressurized Erdogan to start making good terms with the Arab countries.

Erdogan’s rivalry with America and other Arab nations

Apart from this, the Biden administration expressed strong opposition to Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 missile system from Russia in the defense sector and warned to impose sanctions on Turkey, which also led to an economic collapse.

To improve the falling economy, two finance ministers were changed within a year but no significant effect was seen.

Eventually, Erdogan’s financial and political advisors advised him to establish relations with Arab countries, after which Erdogan began to build his relations with the UAE, then with Egypt and Israel, after which the UAE invested $10 billion. He made defense deals with Egypt and handed over many wanted accused Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas terrorists to Egypt while freezing their bank accounts. Apart from this, after inviting Israeli president to Turkey, he signed many important deals.

Why does Erdogan want to be closer to Saudi Arabia?

After all these deals, the real challenge was to mend ties with Saudi Arabia. Erdogan expressed his wish to visit the Kingdom, but he was kept on a waiting list. Erdogan made many flattery comments in favor of Saudi Arabia, and the most important was the closure of Khashoggi case, and transferred the case to Saudi Arabia. Another condition was to put strict restrictions on terrorist organizations like Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood, after which their visit to Saudi Arabia was fixed.

Erdogan is also compelled to do all this because presidential elections are going to be held in Turkey next year, and opposition parties will give him hard time for the economical downtime.

Finally, Erdogan reached Saudi Arabia, and he described this visit to Saudi Arabia as a historic one. He spoke about important decisions between the two countries in the political, investment, tourism and business fields.

Waqar Khan is an Independent Writer and Blogger from India. He tweets under @WaKhan337.

Originally written in Hindi. Translated by MilliChronicle.

Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Milli Chronicle’s point-of-view.