Behind the Scene of Turkey’s Withdrawal from Khashoggi’s Murder File

2022/04/11 | interview, political, top news

Strategic Council Online – Interview: Director of Turkology Group of Contemporary Islam Encyclopedia, commented on the Ankara’s decision to withdraw Jamal Khashoggi’ file and said:” Turkey does not basically, engage itself in long term disputes and normally follows its opportunistic interests from short term disputes and drops the issue as well as tension.

Ali Sa’adat Azar in an interview with the site of Strategic Council on Foreign Relations explained:” in fact, Turkey’s tension with the U.S., Russia and other countries are often short term one, and in order to secure its interests, it does not manoeuver too much on disputes and grudges”.

Having mentioned that sometimes there are exceptions, Sa’adat Azar said:” but since Justice and Development Party took office in the country, they adopted the zero problem policy of Turkey in abroad. Although, there were times when they were not very successful. Now, Ankara has the same zero problem policy in its agenda”.

The expert also elaborated on the reasons why Turkey has approached Saudi Arabia and said:” the most important problems between Riyadh and Ankara started with the heightening of developments in Syria. When the developments of Syria followed a declining trend, Abubakr Al-Baghdadi was killed and ISIS was weakened, Syria achieved a kind of stability. Therefore, a part of problems and grudges between Saudi Arabia and Turkey followed a declining trend”.

Sa’adat Azar also pointed to the efforts made by the Zionists to approach Arab countries and explained:” if Turkey did not wish to decrease its tension level with Saudi Arabia, it would have naturally fallen behind the initiative of alliance among Saudi Arabid, the Zionist regime and UAE”.

He added:” the alliance among Saudi Arabia, UAE and somehow Bahrain with the Zionist regime would have strongly changed the balance in favor of Arabs and detrimental to Turkey. That means, if it had happened, Ankara would have been placed in weak position. Therefore, aiming at preserving the balance, Rejep Tayyib Erdogan lifted the amount of pressure from Saudi Arabia and approached the Zionist regime to send the message to the region and the Zionists that Turkey is not apart from Arab – Zionist alliance”.

The university professor believes that when the regional tensions level decrease, Turkey desists from issues like Jamal Khashoggi, that has already taken its short term benefit.

Sa’adat Azar emphasized:” it goes without saying that Turkey’s Intelligent Service has already exchanged some information about the modality of Jamal Khashoggi’s slaughtering with Saudi Arabia Intelligent Service, and what happened behind the scene, and a part of de-escalation of the issue may refer to this very exchanges of intelligence between Riyadh and Ankara and even Mossad”.

To sum up this part of his remarks on Turkey’s objectives from withdrawal of Khashoggi’s murder file, he explained:” First and foremost, Turkey does not want to leave behind from regional balance and thus it will preserve its relations with Saudi Arabia, UAE and the Zionist regime. Secondly, Ankara has some reservations about Qatar too. We witness that Arabs have reduced their tensions level with Turkey’s strategic partner in the Persian Gulf, i.e. Qatar. Therefore, lots of dealings have been made among these governments until we witness today the new alignments and developments”.

The expert on Turkey’s affairs also commented on the U.S. role in the new alignments and said:” the further the U.S. from the Persian Gulf, the sense of cooperation among Arab countries with regional powers even Iran will be further strengthened”.

Sa’adat Azar also stressed that the issue of killing Jamal Khashoggi is not a strategic issue, and as it is not a strategic issue, there will most probably be a lot of changes and developments”.

The university professor commented on the probable consequences of the Turkish measure and said:” it does not seem that the issue will bring about so many consequences for Turkey like other issues which it is involved in, such as Kurds that human rights institutions have always criticized Ankara’s policies”.

The expert continued:” in the meantime, the Americans have also shelved the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and a part of position takings of Turkey is emanated from how Washington deals with the issue. It means in many cases Turkey pays attention to the positions taken by the U.S. and adopts a position close to that”.

Finally, having stated that the region is dynamic, the expert explained:” there are issues that link together in Eurasia and the Persian Gulf. Whereas issues like oil, gas and war in Ukraine are of great importance, an issue like the killing of Khashoggi will be of lesser importance. However, it keeps its importance as far as the issue of exchange between intelligent services is concerned. It may even contain the exchange of intelligence among the intelligent services of a few countries behind the scene”.

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