The United Arab Emirates, bolstered by its peace deal with Israel, is acting on Saudi, Omani, Egyptian, Greek and French interests to take on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who is increasingly mutating Turkey into a “neo-Ottoman” threat, wrote journalist Jake Wallis Simons in the British Spectator magazine.
The Emiratis are trying to bolster Syrian President Bashar Asad and his allies to counterbalance Turkish control in the country’s north, according to Simons, while Western powers watch idly the Arab fightback against Ankara’s dominance in the region.
Turkey, together with Syrian rebel groups, has launched three military offensives into neighbouring Syria since 2016, targeting Kurdish forces Ankara sees as a threat due to their alleged links to an insurgency on Turkish soil. It now controls two separate strips of land along its border to the north of the war-torn country.
Erdoğan’s muscular adventurism across wide swathes of land and sea also include Libya, Nagorno-Karabakh and the Mediterranean, and is reversing Turkish liberal consensus in favour of authoritarianism, according to Simons.
In Libya, Turkey backs the internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) against the eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), and has sent thousands of Syrian rebel fighters to aid the government in Tripoli.
And most recently, Turkey has thrown its full support behind Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, providing drones to its ally country. Ankara is accused of sending Syrian mercenaries here too, a charge it denies.
In the backdrop of Turkey’s adventurism is Ankara’s love affair with Qatar, whose ties are bolstered by their support for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, Simons said.
Doha and Ankara are keen on providing political and military cover for Libya’s GNA, which is dominated politically and militarily by the Muslim Brotherhood movement.
Western powers are turning a blind eye to the urgent problem presented by Erdoğan, the journalist said, calling on its lost leadership tostand up to the bullying by Turkey’s strongman.