Competition or Cooperation?


Carlos Latuff 2012

Carlos Latuff 2012

The killing of Ahmed Jabari, the military leader of Hamas during an Israeli strike, has once again spurred the fighting in Gaza.

Mutual firing has caused the death of almost 150 Palestinians and 3 Israelis…

Although there seems nothing to be new in this conflict, this time the region and particularly Egypt under the new leadership of Muslim Brotherhood has been tested.

Result: International community applauded Egypt for mediation efforts that ended a week-long conflict…  And ceasefire announced…

Although Turkey was long designed to act as a mediator in the region, this recent conflict will most probably remembered with Egypt’s efforts…

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was amongst the Arab leaders visiting Gaza to broker peace between Israel and Gaza…

Turkey’s support for Gaza is said to be shaped around humanitarian initiatives and to comprise solely humanitarian goals…

But, the diplomatic angle is also being questioned.

Turkey’s ruling AKP, seems to hold a close relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood, the organisation from which Hamas sterns.

The Egyptian critics call Muhammed Mursi as ‘the new Pharoah’, as once Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was criticised of acting as ‘the new Sultan’.

So will the new emerging regional leader Mursi and Erdogan cooperate or compete?

Here are some comments from the experts I spoke to for BBC Turkish… (The full analysis in Turkish is here.)

According to Turkish journalist and columnist of daily Cumhuriyet Ergin Yildizoglu, ‘being Muslim does not make Turkey a part of Arab world…’

He says, “As a reality of Ottomanism, the Arabs lived under the regional colony, hegemonic empire… This is still fresh in minds…”

AKP has blended a secular constitution with a pronounced socio-political Islamic identity…

But how compatible is Turkey’s AKP with Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood?

According to Yasar Yakis, former Turkish Foreign Minister and former ambassador to Egypt, ‘laicism’ was always seen as a problem for the Muslim Brotherhood…

The recent Gaza crisis displayed the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood is not willing to confront with the West…

Turkey’s harsh rhetoric against Israel has faded it’s reputation as a mediator and thus axis seems to be shifted towards Egypt…

It has long been discussed whether the Muslim Brotherhood was going to follow the footsteps of Erdogan’s AKP, but the recent developments diverted the question:

“Should Erdogan follow the footsteps of Mursi?”

The full article in Turkish for BBC Turkish can be found on this link.


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Filed under Egypt, Gaza, Israel, Turkey

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