Erdogan’s Predicament: How Does He Get Rid of Gul, Davutoglu, and Babajan?

Erdogan, Gul, Babajan, and Davotuglo: Yesterday's friends today's enemies
Erdogan, Gul, Babajan, and Davotuglo: Yesterday's friends today's enemies

A series of developments and surprises awaiting Turkey in which Erdogan has prepared for, now in order for him to remain in power he needs to get rid of the trio Babajan, Davutoglu, and Gul, at all costs.

The following is the English translation from Arabic of the latest article by Turkish career journalist Husni Mahali he published in the Lebanese Al-Mayadeen news site Al-Mayadeen Net:

A week after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attacked the Trio Gul, Davutoglu and Babajan, accusing them of “corruption, unloyalty, and treachery” as a first step on the road to a grinding war between them, former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced (Friday) his new party and called it the “Future Party”.

The Turkish media, 95% of whom are controlled by Erdogan, totally ignored this important event, and Davutoglu’s violent attack on Erdogan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) of which Davutoglu was leader, Ali Babajan is also preparing to announce his party by the fifth of next month, after Erdogan’s efforts to persuade him and Davutoglu to reverse their decision and return to the “loving mother’s lap”, the AKP, failed.

This development is of additional importance because of its timing as it coincides with serious internal harassment against Erdogan, and most importantly externally. The U.S. Senate unanimously approved the bill, which had already been passed by the House of Representatives, which accuses the Ottoman Sultanate of the Armenian Genocide.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee also endorsed the sanctions package passed by the House of Representatives last month against Turkey and President Erdogan personally, in response to his insistence on buying Russian S-400 missiles.

The European Union has taken a violent stance against Erdogan’s agreement with the Sarraj government regarding the demarcation of the maritime border between Libya and Turkey in the Mediterranean Sea, France, Italy, and Cyprus have begun naval drills, and another Italian, Cypriot, Greek, and Egyptian drills are expected to begin soon.

As for the relationship with the ‘new ally’ Russia, Putin, Lavrov, and Shoigu have made no secret of their dissatisfaction with Ankara’s position against implementing the Idlib agreement, which calls for the immediate removal of ‘Jabhat al-Nusra’ (Nusra Front aka Al-Qaeda Levant) from that area.

At the same time, GCC reconciliation efforts between Qatar and the trio Saudi, the UAE, and Bahrain have failed, with the Egyptian-backed media continuous campaign against Turkey and Erdogan personally.

Without heeding all this, Erdogan continues his traditional policies, which the opposition describes as ‘provocative and adventurous’ on all fronts and at all levels.

Erdogan has moved from the position of defense to the offense, not only externally as in the case of Libya, but also internally against the Gul-Babajan-Davutoglu trio who are embarrassing him at home.

The information points to several scenarios that Erdogan wants to help him confront the trio and those with them from the current opposition parties, i.e., the Good Party, the People’s Democratic Party and the CHP, which defeated him in the elections in Istanbul, Ankara, and other states.

The Gul-Babajan-Davutoglu trio is also preparing for all confrontations on all fronts, believing that Erdogan’s options are limited, and he is in an unenviable position both internally and externally as the serious economic crisis continues.

These calculations may prompt the trio to rush to pounce on their opponent before he gets rid of them since he is the strongest, as he controls all the organs of the state such as the army, security, intelligence, and the judiciary, but he does not control the people and morale and is higher on the other side after Erdogan’s major defeat in the last municipal elections and his involvement in the Syrian quagmire, even though they were all together in the Syrian quagmire until the end of 2016.

This does not mean that Erdogan will stand idly by against the ‘friends of yesterday and enemies of today’, as he launched a violent campaign against them through the media loyal to him and accused the trio of treason, infiltration, and conspiracy, i.e. collusion with Fethullah Gulan, who is accused of responsibility for the failed coup attempt in July 2016.

The accusation could become practical by prosecuting them after Davutoglu responded to Erdogan’s accusations of corruption to him, Gul, and Babajan, calling on him to disclose details of his personal wealth.

Foreign policy, particularly The Turkish intervention in Syria and the secret relationship with ISIS, is expected to be the second episode in the basket of mutual accusations between the two sides, and it became clear that they are preparing for a relentless war with the New Year, and it became clear that the aforementioned trio will monitor the progress of foreign developments and in particular the U.S. and British positions following the victory of Boris Johnson, Erdogan’s friend in the British elections. The pro-Erdogan media specifically accuses Gul and Babajan of colluding with Britain, while Davutoglu is accused of colluding with U.S. power centers, referring to the Jewish lobby. 

All of this may lead to the next stage of a heated confrontation of various weapons between the trio and Erdogan, who everybody know that he will not hesitate to use all known and unknown weapons to get rid of this trio, which opinion polls have shown will embarrass him not only electorally, but popularly and psychologically. In particular, if they decide to reveal all his secrets, the three members were together as comrades of his path and struggle on all fronts with all their internal, international and regional contradictions. 

This is where the inevitable impact of such contradictions begins on the future of the upcoming battle between Erdogan and the aforementioned trio together or individually.

As a foreign minister and then former prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu had and continues to have close relations with former Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim, and worked closely together in Syria to pounce on President Al-Assad (the prey), and this what Ben Jassim said.

Davutoglu also enjoys personal friendship with the former director of Al Jazeera, Waddah Khanfar, whose ‘September 5, 2011 WikiLeaks documents’ revealed his ties to U.S. intelligence, who was dismissed by the Qatari Emir’s (prince) father who sent him to London and gave him $30 million to establish a study center he called the ‘East Forum’, which organized many events in Turkey when Davutoglu was in power.

The information predicts that Davutoglu will use his relations with Bin Jassim to influence the Emir’s father in any future subject that will help him to embarrass Erdogan, who Prince Tamim gifted him his plane worth up to $450 million, to which Erdogan responded with a better greeting than by selling the Turkish tank factory for 50 million dollars in a vague and dangerous deal, as per the CHP leader Kilichdaroglu.

Davutoglu may resort to similar moves through his Western relations, particularly the United States, as he was a ‘privileged’ friend of Hillary Clinton’s and did the impossible when they worked together to get rid of President Assad, helped by their then German counterpart Steinmeier, who is now the President of Germany, which is not hiding its dissatisfaction of Erdogan’s actions at both bilateral as well as European and international levels.

The information does not rule out that Ali Babajan follows in Davutoglu’s footsteps, the first is the most fortunate, firstly because of his relations with the U.S. and international financial circles that Erdogan needs its dollars, and secondly because of the support of Abdullah Gul, who is more famous than him and Davutoglu, because he was president of the Republic, he was prime minister and foreign minister, and before that he worked at the Islamic Development Bank in Jeddah for eight years (1983-1991), during which time he established extensive relations with a large number of Saudis.

Gul may consider taking advantage of the Saudis to establish future relations with Riyadh and through it with Cairo and Abu Dhabi. These countries are not comfortable with Erdogan’s policies because of his embrace and support for the Muslim Brotherhood, likewise U.S. President Donald Trump uncomfortable with this Islamist movement.

These and other data nominate Turkey for a series of developments, events and surprises that we will see how much Erdogan is ready for; and he is ready to do everything in order to stay in power, but that now requires him to ‘get rid of’ the aforementioned trio as soon as possible no matter what it costs and in all the meaning of that word.

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