News / Europe

Turkey's Criticism of OIC Over Egypt Seen as Split with Arab Allies

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses the media before he leaves for Turkmenistan at Esenboga Airport in Ankara, Aug. 15, 2013.
Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan addresses the media before he leaves for Turkmenistan at Esenboga Airport in Ankara, Aug. 15, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Dorian Jones
— Turkey's call for the resignation of the head of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, or OIC, for not speaking out against the bloodshed in Egypt is being seen by analysts as another sign of Ankara's growing isolation from other Islamic countries.  Turkey's stance toward Egypt is in stark contrast to the position of some of its allies in the Middle East.   
 
Turkey's deputy prime minister, Bekir Bozdag, Monday accused the OIC and its Turkish secretary general of condoning Egypt's bloody crackdown on supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi.  Bozdag said OIC head Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu should resign over what he considered the organization's indifference to the bloodshed.  

Ihsanoglu has called on all parties in Egypt to exercise restraint.  

Diplomatic columnist Semih Idiz, of the Turkish newspaper Taraf, says the resignation call has caused some surprise in Turkey because Ihsanoglu is a Turk.  But Idiz views the call as an indication of the Turkish government’s wider frustration with its Arab allies.
 
"It just goes to show how uptight this government is over this Egypt business and is very frustrated that the narrative that it wants to be coming out [from] some of these Islamic organization’s is simply not coming.  But rather than be able to openly criticize Saudi Arabia, Jordan and whatever, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu is an easy target," said Idiz.

Turkey’s ruling party, the Islamic-rooted AK Party, has close ties with deposed Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood party.  Ankara has been in the forefront of condemning Morsi’s overthrow and the subsequent crackdown on the Brotherhood and its supporters.  In stark contrast, many Gulf States and Saudi Arabia have backed Egypt's new military-led government.

Sinan Ulgen, a visiting scholar of Carnegie Europe, says Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is paying a high price for his country's stance.

"He has adopted the rhetoric that actually puts Turkey on the high moral ground certainly, but also this is driving Turkey apart from its allies in the Gulf as well, in particular Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.  So this is leading to the collapse of the alliance that was set up between these countries and Turkey to manage the security relationship in the region," said Ulgen.
 
Regional observers point out many Arab monarchies remain deeply suspicious if not outright hostile toward political Islamic groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, fearing they could threaten their rule.

Differences between Ankara and the Gulf States have also manifested themselves over Syria.  Idiz says Turkey is seen as backing more radical elements of the Syrian opposition, while Saudi Arabia supports former Baath Party and the secular elements.
 
The split is a dramatic turnaround for Turkey’s government, which has considered its close ties with Middle Eastern countries as one of its major triumphs. Analyst Ulgen says the split could add to growing pressure for a change in policy.
 
"When we compare at how Turkey positioned itself as almost an order-setter just two years ago, this situation certainty cannot be presented as a success for Turkish foreign policy. So I believe at some point there will be reassessment of what Turkey is doing," he said.

With Ankara playing no role in recent U.S. and EU mediation efforts to end the Egypt crisis, and being firmly on the sidelines of the current Palestinian-Israeli peace efforts, analysts say this is likely to only add to pressure on Ankara to reassess its foreign policy.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid