Pundit Ibrahim Karagul of Turkey’s Yeni Safak, whose column titles are often longer than entire editorials penned by more sedate writers, delivered a lively presentation of the Turkish ruling party’s view of the Iran crisis with his Friday broadside: “U.S. Won’t Attack Iran, It Will Start a New Arab-Persian War. Two Crown Princes, Two Countries: They Became Hitmen of the Crusaders. But the Big Trap Is Set Against Saudi Arabia.”
The “two crown princes” Karagul referred to are the boogeymen who lurk forever behind the slightly ajar door of his mental bedroom closet, Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia and Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ) of the United Arab Emirates. MBZ is actually worse in Karagul’s villain hierarchy.
Karagul’s latest has the United States hatching a plan “aimed at destroying the whole region” by hiring the Saudis and Emiratis to take down Iran, which he imagines is currently winning a decades-long showdown with the evil West and keeping the Muslim world free of imperial domination.
Karagul accused the U.S. and its ally Israel of plotting to start an “Islamic civil war” by provoking a military confrontation with Iran, using the misguided Saudi and Emirati crown princes as stooges:
The plot to “push God to trigger doomsday” is unfortunately being staged through Saudi Arabia and the UAE today. The two countries have become spokespersons of an Evangelist Crusades craze. These two countries that have control over Mecca and Medina are kept under control through the crown princes and turned into the hitmen of a sort of Crusader battle.
According to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the U.S. and Israel should attack Iran with all their forces. Arabs should be saved from this danger. Because they have been told that Iran is the greatest threat to come. Iran also prepared the grounds for this through its actions and strengthened this opinion. The real scenario is starting just now.
Meanwhile, let us particularly point out that those who have been portraying Iran to the countries in question as a threat are currently showing Turkey as one too.
The Turkish columnist predicted the last laugh will be against Saudi Arabia, because the evil West will strike its final blow to erase Islam on Saudi soil:
This political blindness is about to perhaps result in the biggest mistake ever. A new Arab-Persian war is going to be started. The previous ones were at the country level; this time there is preparation at the regional level. They are going to get Arabs and Iranians to clash, stand aside and watch the destruction. If they succeed, this war might last decades.
All I have to say regarding all this is that the trap was set against Saudi Arabia. The destruction plan is targeting that country. This is the policy to “Destroy by protection.”
This is the case because both Mecca and Medina are in Saudi Arabia. Because there is a century-long plan toward the future ahead of us.
I would say, evaluate Turkey’s struggle within such a climate and then speak.
Karagul’s column offers a window into the paranoia of the Turkish ruling class and President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who Yeni Safak energetically supports (Karagul is its editor-in-chief). Erdogan has invested years of effort in setting himself up as the great champion of Islam. He loathes the Saudi monarchy and, while Tehran and Ankara have feuded often over the past four decades, they did a great deal of business with each other after President Barack Obama lifted sanctions against Iran with his nuclear deal.
Erdogan was grateful for Iran’s quick support after the coup staged against him in 2016. His difference with Iran over the Syrian civil war is fading in importance now that Syrian dictator Bashar Assad has established a firm grip on Damascus with Russian and Iranian assistance and Turkey is worried primarily about the Syrian Kurds.
Critics of U.S. policy on Iran worry that alienation from the United States and NATO is pushing Turkey and Iran together, forming a dangerous new nexus of power in the Middle East with strong ties to Russia and mutual antipathy for America’s local ally, the Kurds.
On the other hand, no Turkish official could have failed to notice what Israel’s Haaretz pointed out on Thursday: the reimposition of sanctions on Iranian oil by President Donald Trump has been great for Turkey, thanks in part to the Russian oil pipeline running across Turkish soil.
Turkey is officially against the Iran sanctions, but the Middle East is not without opportunities for the Turks under Trump’s policies, at least for those unburdened by fantasies of the United States deliberately provoking an apocalyptic regional war and using it as an excuse to blow up Mecca.