On April 26th, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said that Turkey was looking to rectify relations with Saudi Arabia.
Trade between the two countries has dropped by 98% since 2020, following an unofficial boycott of Turkish goods by businesses in the Kingdom in response to what they called hostility from Ankara.
Kalin said Ankara hoped this could be corrected.
“We will seek ways to repair the relationship with a more positive agenda with Saudi Arabia as well.”
Kalin also said the Turkish presidency welcomed the trial in Saudi Arabia which last year jailed eight people for between seven and 20 years for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“They had a court. Trials have been held,” Kalin said. “They made a decision so we respect that decision.”
According to the glowing example of democracy and freedom that is Ankara, the Kingdom had done its due diligence. After all, sending some people to prison and leaving them there is something that’s not that uncommon since the alleged coup attempt of 2016 in Ankara.
Turkey is also looking to repair relations with Egypt. Relations have been strained since Egypt’s army ousted in 2013 Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi, who was close to Turkey.
Turkey has begun working to rebuild ties with Egypt and other Gulf states, trying to overcome differences which have left Ankara increasingly isolated in the Arab world.
To show that it meant well, Turkey asked Egyptian opposition television channels operating on its territory to moderate criticism of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi.
Egypt welcomed the move but has been publicly cautious about Turkish calls for better ties between the two countries which have also supported rival sides in Libya’s conflict.
“Rapprochement with Egypt…will certainly help the security situation in Libya because we fully understand that Egypt has a long border with Libya and that may sometimes pose a security threat for Egypt,” Kalin said.
Azerbaijan is also a sort of mediator between Israel and Turkey, and there appears to be some hope to correct relations there.
After all, the Biden Administration recognized the Armenian Genocide and Ankara is furious about it.
It is now on the lookout for new allies that justify their own atrocities and present them in an entire positive light. Be it the Armenian genocide, the Saudi-led coalition’s intervention in Yemen and its indiscriminate bombing of civilians, or Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, which Human Rights Watch said amounted to apartheid.
What’s more, Riyadh could use some assistance from Turkish drones, as well as from Syrian mercenaries that Turkey has in its pockets to attempt to turn the tide in Yemen.
In such difficult times, Ankara, Tel Aviv and Riyadh need close-minded allies who are willing to not only look the other way, but even show acknowledgement that these atrocities were simply acts for the greater good.
How that will work out? Time will tell.
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