More than eight years ago, President Bashar Assad described the Turkish madman Erdogan as the ‘Caliph wannabe’, many took that as a joke from a rivalry, the years proved with blood and suffering what President Assad saw in the Turkish madman what all the others didn’t see including President Putin of Russia, or maybe he saw and playing that to some certain advantages which unfortunately are not in favor of the Syrian people, or at least on their account, mostly.
My first article for the year 2020, which was published on January 2, was titled “Turkey 2020 … Wait for the Surprises.” And now, after all the surprises that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accustomed us to in his regional and international policies, which gave him moral superiority on the personal level, Ankara has achieved during this period military, political and strategic gains in many regions of the world, especially in Syria, Iraq, Libya, and Cyprus.
This will push Erdogan in the coming months of the year 2021 to benefit from these gains, and that is during his future bargains with US President Joe Biden, who we will soon see how serious he is in everything he said previously about Erdogan and Turkey, as it has become clear that the latter will seek to sit at the negotiating table, and he possesses many cards with which he will bargain with Biden and who’s with him of the European, Arab, and even Israeli as well. For many reasons, he does not believe that he is in a weak position, as long as Biden needs him because of his practical presence in many areas that fall within Washington’s interests, foremost among them are Syria, Iraq, Libya, the Caucasus, the Balkans, and the Eastern Mediterranean, with all their elements and the balances of their sensitive and complex forces.
Erdogan also believes, and as “the heir of a great Ottoman empire, “that Biden will not ignore these elements, but rather put them into consideration, and what he has to do in this case is to convince him or prove to him through his practical and quick positions that he will not back down from his policies, but he is ready to cooperate with America’s strategic ally for common interests.”
This explains the ongoing push and pull processes between the two sides behind the scenes, as each side senses the pulse of the other side before the dialogue acquires an official character after Biden enters the White House and chooses the first country to visit on his foreign tour, as Turkey was the first country that his predecessor, President Barack Obama visited in In April 2009, recognizing Erdogan’s leadership role in the “Arab Spring” for which Washington had prepared in advance, Biden will also prepare for an American new something, whatever the name.
In this case, President Erdogan wants to retain the leading role in this “new thing”, in the absence of Arab roles and the weakness of other roles that he can distance from the arena. His poem, which annoyed Tehran, was a practical and intelligent indicator of this.
Such calculations may lead President Erdogan to more adventures, to raise the bargaining ceiling with President Biden, but in this case, he must favor one region over another, paying attention to his relationship with President Putin of political, economic and military dimensions, and most importantly personal, with all its hidden secrets! Everyone knows that Putin, in turn, will not hurry but will wait to see what Biden is planning in the traditional conflict areas between the two superpowers, and Erdogan thinks, and also believes, that it has become three, by Turkey’s competition with them both or separately!
This prompted the Vice President of the Republican People’s Party (CHP), Anakin al-Tay, to speak in his speech in Parliament about “the greatness disease that afflicted Erdogan”, likening him to “Hitler, Stalin and Trump,” while reminding “the end of each of them after all the devastation they inflicted in the world and in their countries.”
No matter how difficult the current situation is economically and financially, and he is in an unenviable position internally, President Erdogan believes that he has many elements of maneuver and political tactics as long as he is the strongest in most areas that everyone needs, especially after he became, during the year 2020, a fundamental party in all of them, thanks to the green light that President Putin first lit for him in Syria (as of August 2016) and Trump (after 2018). European leaders remained on the sidelines, stalling, and each of them has their own reasons for that!
Everyone, with or without an agreement, directly or indirectly, has contributed to all the victories and gains that Erdogan achieved during the year 2020, which made him the element that no one can ignore anymore, of course, if they are serious about what they say about him and Turkey.
In this case, the bet in the year 2021 will be on the extent of Erdogan’s success in protecting these gains with the scenarios that are expected by the aforementioned parties, together or individually, to put an end to them, after they have expressed their annoyance and concern about his approach and method in dealing with all files, by reminding of the black pages of history for everyone, especially with President Erdogan’s repeated talks about this history, and he is serious about it, otherwise, he would not have entered into all these adventures with their complex calculations, defying Europe, America, and Russia, after he succeeded during the recent period in exploiting their weaknesses and traditional contradictions, which will encourage him to continue with these policies, to surprise everyone with more adventures in locations and regions that some might not expect, as he did in Karabakh, which raised his national spirits high, to think about more surprises in the Arab region and its vicinity.
The only bet remains on the possible position of President Biden, which may prevent Erdogan from continuing with his approach, which the recent European summit described as “provocative”, if this position acquires a practical character, with all the firmness and swift resolution that implies, the Turkish president may find himself facing two very difficult options, either he accepts himself to return “a fish on the hook of the American fisherman”, or he ventures “and goes to bed with the Russian bear, and he knows what he will do with him,” and the saying here is for former President Ismat Inonu (after Ataturk), who Erdogan has no friendly feelings for.
He also does not have any friendly feelings for the Republican People’s Party founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and seeks to get rid of his intellectual and political legacy, including his secular democratic republic, and works daily to get rid of it before celebrating its centenary in the year 2023, and he only has to remain in power until that date, regardless of the external bargains, deals and adventures it cost him to achieve his greater goal, which is the Islamization of the state and the nation, which he wants to commemorate the 600th anniversary of Muhammad the Conqueror’s entry into the Byzantine capital of Constantinople (2053), then the first millennium (2071) of the coming of the Turks to Anatolia after the battle Malazgirt on August 26, 1071. Erdogan built himself on the same site a palace similar to the tent of Sultan al-Baslan.
And all these historical memories and emotions that he marketed and is marketing in all his daily speeches to his followers at home (who are about 35%) and abroad, both Turks and Muslims, have a direct relationship with all that we lived in the year 2020 and the nine years preceding it, as he believes that he is the leader of all Turks and Islamists in the world, he only has to make his courageous decisions, and prove to everyone that he is ready to sacrifice himself and Turkey for its sake so that history will say about him after that what should be said!
This has pushed and will push Erdogan to more political violence against his opponents, regardless of their position and level, and he does not want them to object, even in one word, to his dreams, as long as he is the absolute ruler of the country. after he has controlled the army, security, intelligence, money and judiciary, and the 95% of government and private media.
This media has mobilized all its capabilities, which are great, and its hideous and despicable methods, to market the ideas of President Erdogan, as “the leader who achieved miracles at home and raised the banner of the Turkish and Islamic nations high abroad, as he is the president, the leader, the Sultan, and the caliph, and God is with him always!”