Expected visit of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Iran took place in the beginning of April. Some speculations regarding the visit were circulated that the visit would be canceled as a result of Erdogan’s criticism directed on Iran over developments in Yemen. Those speculating such claims were actually reflecting their expectations rather than putting forward a determination or a forecast.
Media channels of the Gulen Movement which has long remained distant to Iran and tried to present Erdogan and Turkish intelligence chief Hakan Fidan as members of an organization, had favored Iran this time. They tried to create an atmosphere as if Iran did not want Erdogan’s visit which had actually taken place upon the invitation of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The movement could have even collectively prayed for the visit not to happen as it has become a routine habit for them similar to slandering campaigns and plots they have planned.
You may remember the efforts Turkey had initiated with Brazil to settle on a middle ground during P5+1 talks on nuclear enrichment program of Iran. At the time, certain circles in Turkey were accusing the Turkish government for moving away from the Western axis and the same circles now recommending Turkish officials to take the diplomacy skills of Iranian officials as examples.
What has evolved since then? What did happen since then that the US and West deemed it necessary to reconcile with Iran on enrichment of uranium or what did happen for Iran to agree on terms of the current deal which is more disadvantageous than the Tehran Agreement proposed with the mediation of Turkey and Brazil in 2010 that had left Turkey in difficult position after all that effort?
The factors that led the US President Barack Obama to break the ice with Cuba and lift the embargo should be subject of another piece but the tendency of Iran to be part of the international system despite “everything is not complete yet” statement from Western countries must be noted.
Only after couple days the agreement was signed between Iran and the West at the same location as the Lausanne Treaty was signed which could be accounted as the establishing document of Republic of Turkey considered as successor of the Ottoman Empire; Erdogan had went to Iran on an official visit.
I was one of the journalists that traveled with Erdogan in the Turkish delegation. Erdogan spoke there with the comfort of following policies towards resolution since the beginning when it comes to neighboring countries of Turkey and the Muslim countries. He was in Iran with ease for having worked towards lifting the embargo on Iran and the integration of Iran in the international arena.
Turkey has adopted a different stand from Iran on Yemen as it did with Syria previously. Most importantly, Turkey always spoke as if the representative of a non-sectarian approach different from the approach of Iran that instrumentalizes Shi’ism or Saudi Arabia which uses Sunnism or Wahhabism.
As for Iran, the country is trying to break the ice with the West while refusing to mobilize in order to stop the bloodshed in the Middle East, and furthermore provides support to Assad regime which massacres own citizens, or to groups in Yemen that led to instability there through the militaristic means.
Yet, both of these processes move on concurrently.
In the meantime, the US is supporting a president in Egypt which came to power via a military coup, leaving its positive attitude at the beginning of the Arab Spring aside. Or, not even trying to draw close to intervening against the Assad regime despite use of chemical weapons by the authority.
Yet, the US reaches out to Iran in parallel to these developments.
The occurrence of these events at the same time leaves the Muslims in doubt about US-Iran intimacy being whether in favor of the Islamic countries or on their disadvantage.
Resource: Turkey Agenda, April 17, 2015