WSJ cracks Turkey’s thirst to be new Sultan of Islam

WSJ cracks Turkey’s thirst to be new Sultan of Islam, but Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman still a hard nut to crack!

Two centuries ago, in the fall of 1818, the Saudi monarch was brought to Istanbul in chains.

He was displayed in a cage to the cheering crowds outside the Hagia Sophia mosque, and then, amid celebratory fireworks, his head was chopped off.

In 2018, Turkish President Recep Erdogan missed that opportunity.

That is to drag a chained Saudi crown prince in a cage to Istanbul over the murder of a Saudi citizen in a Saudi consulate.

The death of the Turkish empire liberated Saudi Arabia from the Mameluks. 

“But the long legacy of rivalry between the two Sunni Muslim powers—both of them key American allies—has fueled Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s determination to punish the House of Saud for Mr Khashoggi’s death,” writes Yaroslav Trofimov in the Wall Street Journal

But Turkey has powerful Islamic allies this time around. Alone, it is simply another weak Muslim country dreaming of its past glory. 
With the Qataris and the surprise allies from Iran, Turkey feels it is stronger. The killing of Muammar Gaddafi is also an element that has the Turks believing they are now stronger in the Sunni world.
Gaddafi was a powerful figure that acted as a roadblock to the Turks in their vision for conquest in the Muslim world.
But the Wall Street Journal article does not dwell on Gaddafi. They forgot about him.
“Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has built a coalition of Sunni states such as the United Arab Emirates and Egypt to launch a war against Iranian allies in Yemen.
“He imposed an embargo that unsuccessfully sought regime change in Qatar.
“He also attempted to meddle in Lebanese politics by forcing that nation’s prime minister to announce during a stay in the kingdom that he would resign, a decision that the prime minister rescinded once he was home,” wrote the WSJ.
All these did not go down well with the Turks. They were shocked that Saudi Arabia had landed in the real world, instead of the backdoor dealings.
This ate into Qatar’s and Turkey’s big mouthing roles with the support of Al-Jazeera.
Read this:

“Mr Erdogan has made several efforts to resist Saudi Arabia’s rise. He sent Turkish troops to protect Qatar, ousted Saudi allies from Somalia and announced a deal to lease an island across the Red Sea from Saudi Arabia in Sudan, possibly for a military base.

“He has also become a vociferous champion of traditional Muslim causes, such as Palestine, and of new ones, such as the suffering of the Rohingya in Myanmar. Istanbul has turned into a favorite hub for Islamist dissidents from across the Arab world.”

“The Turkish president’s foreign policy strategy aims to make Muslims proud again,” said Soner Cagaptay, a scholar at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and the author of a recent biography of Mr Erdogan, “The New Sultan.” “Under this vision, a reimagined and modernized version of the Ottoman past, the Turks are to lead Muslims to greatness.”

But what Turkey will have to deal with now is even more devastating: It is not going to be a member of the European Union. Not after its role in the behind the scenes of the Khashoggi murder.

It is not going to rule the Islamic world, not so soon, and perhaps never again albeit become a military mercenary.

It is not going to sit over the two Holy cities in Saudi Arabia. Not until the collapse of the UN or the collapse of the US.

Tough call indeed for a country and a leadership that believe it is the closest to the companions of the Prophet.

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