Erdogan, a man who always bluffs

December 25, The Iran Project – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is busy these days with solving various domestic and foreign problems which he himself has made for Turkey, has a long history of advertising bluffs, media maneuvers and dramatic gestures which help us to study his behavior.

Dramatic cutting and resuming relations with Israel

June 2010: After Israeli commandos stormed Gaza-bound aid ships, killing at least 10 Turkish activists and unleashing a diplomatic crisis, Erdogan recalled Turkish Ambassador to Israel in September 2011, downgrading diplomatic relations.  But, six years later, the Turkish prosecutor general cancelled all complaints against Israeli political and military figures, restoring diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Political gesture in defense of Bahrainis

March 2010: In the midst of Bahrainis uprising, Erdogan compared the bloody suppression of the people by Bahrain and Saudi military to the events of Karbala.

He criticized Saudi Arabia for sending troops to Bahrain, saying “he does not want to see any more fighting between Muslims; he does not want to see another Karbala which will only further divide the Muslims.”

However, the relationship between Turkey and Saudi Arabia continues to remain the same.

Condemning Iran for defending Yemen

April 2015: Supporting Saudis’ invasion to Yemen, Erdogan took an unprecedented swipe at Tehran over defending Yemen and claimed “Iran is trying to chase Daesh from the region only to take its place; Iran is trying to dominate the region. This has started to bother us, the Gulf States and many countries in the region.”

Turkish President also urged Iran to withdraw its forces from Yemen; however, he traveled to Iran soon afterwards trying to boost the two countries relations.

Shooting down Russian military plane and apologizing 

November 2105: Shooting down a Russian military plane on the Syrian border, Turkey stood up against Russian President Vladimir Putin, but soon Turkish leader had to formally apologize and two days later, Russia responded by rescinding its travel ban.

Equally, after the assassination of the Russian ambassador in Ankara in Dec. 19, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said “Turkey-Russia relations were vital for the region and those who aimed to harm ties were not going to achieve their goals” and stressed that the two countries ties are unlikely to be derailed.

Establishing relation with Syria: Soon

December 2014: During a meeting of the Justice and Development Party in Ankara (AKP), Erdogan accused the Syrian regime of turning Syria to a “terrorist state” on account of the widespread massacres being perpetrated by state forces against the Syrian people, claiming that within in a few weeks he would be praying in Damascus’s Umayyad Mosque, as Assad was about to fall.

But it is not unlikely that he would soon be taking the lead to establish peaceful relations with Syria and pray behind Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus Umayyad Mosque.