The holy ghost of Riyadh - NEDRET ERSANEL

The holy ghost of Riyadh

In the Saudi Kingdom, such changes capable of affecting both the country and the world are taking place that the former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia can utter the following sentences:

“If you're caught between the Father and the Son, you have to be careful not to end up as the Holy Ghost...” ("Saudi shakeup poses royal puzzle for U.S.", 29/04, Politico.)

The condescending and primarily corrosive Western attacks coming through foreign and domestic media claiming that King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz has dementia as well as Alzheimers and is old and mentally insufficient (“Who is Saudi Arabia's new King Salman?”, 04/02, CNN. "İşte Suudi Arabistan'ın yeni kralı", 23/01, Hürriyet.) have now come to an end when the Saudi King proved his power through an internal coup d'état at the end of April.

The term “coup” must have fed on the caliber and weight of the stones that King Salman had shaken and placed in the government as well as the fact that it took place at 4.00 a.m., during the small hours. Moreover, there is a decision to pay an extra salary to the Saudi army while the changes are taking place in the Palace/government, given the fact that the country is in the midst of a war. The amount to be paid has not been announced, but approximately 200,000 people should be added to the picture.

'Fights over the throne' are not pronounced as written

The intervention by King Salman, demolishing or at least breaking the throne order system established by the late King Abdullah, promotes the young royal generation (A simple graph for the complex Palace order; “New heirs to the Saudi throne” 29/04, Washington Post.)

After the royal order which can generally be approached at very later ages, it is quite important that the 55-year-old Crown Prince and the 30-year-old Deputy Crown Prince have been brought to the fore. Yet, the fact that the Crown Prince has no son makes the order defined by Salman obscure; but of those who have been relocated are a nephew and a son who are descendants of Salman.

As an important and message-filled change, the fact that a diplomat, who was Riyadh's ambassador to the U.S., has replaced Prince Faisal, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the fact that this position has been held for the first time by someone outside the royal family should be considered meaningful.

The ongoing war, without doubt, has an effect on the constitution of such internal equations, because the situation in Yemen seems to be stuck in a dead-end that promises no result. Moreover, the result of this war will be written on the tab of the”King's son” and Minister of Defense Muhammad bin Salman, who has been elevated to being the Crown Prince! Either a defeated King's son who has lost the war and has been sieged by clans at the center of the fights for the throne or a powerful heir to the throne who has won the war...

We can note that King Salman had already foreseen this and he has protected his son from the unpleasant consequences of the war as much as from the Palace intrigues plotted against him and a clash of ideas.

Just as the King has broken the order to the throne and rearranged it, there is no guarantee that it will last just as he defined. This monarchy consists of clans and each has their own plans; those who are excluded are worried. Allah knows which one is more dangerous.

A Riyadh independent of the US?!

We formerly wrote of the “Salman Doctrine”; we understood the situation. (Yeni Şafak, 04/04). These recent changes are an extension of that doctrine and became a face that turns toward the U.S. (Should it be considered to be an internal power struggle with inevitable reflections in foreign policy or to be a youth vaccination in order to avoid complications in the new regional order? Time will show us).

The essence is to draw a behavioral code in foreign policy, particularly in regional policies, without being too dependent on or waiting on Washington, which will be surprising every time it is written down and read, but that is the orientation of the claim. The question is: to what extent will the renewed Saudi government limit the influence that the U.S. regional policy might have on its own?

It is felt that the future of American policies – be careful – is hidden in the 'character' of the new Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef. It is not that the U.S. does not know the Prince. He is known for his former duties. He is even so well-known that the reason that American concerns are about to turn into fears could stem from this knowledge.

Nayef, who lives far away from the fondness of the American lifestyle – which can be seen not only in Saudi Arabia, but also in the Gulf as well as in other regional countries – and considers it as being wannabe and who is described as the “noble” in a series of Western analysis, has been noted by all of the countries to be close to the King and to have affected the King's decisions.

After all, a period in Saudi Arabia's foreign policy is coming to an end. Not only is the foreign policy changing, but also the security and intelligence structure in Saudi Arabia are changing in parallel. The period of favorite names of the Western World, the names everyone who is a little bit familiar with the Middle East knows, such as Prince Faisal, Bandar, and Turki is melting down.

Do you know what this means? The relations of such countries as France, Britain and the U.S. with the new Riyadh are being reconstructed. (The symbolism in Hollande's fresh visit to Saudi Arabia means “France sides with us against the U.S..” Moreover, the sentences uttered by the Saudi Minister of Oil on the same day, “No one, other than Allah shall determine the oil prices,” refer to the same changes.)

Ankara is also on this list. The only difference is Ankara is not only included in the matters, but it is also part of the foundation (of the changes)!


Cookies are used limited to the purposes in th e Personal Data Protection Law No.6698 and in accordance with the legislation. For detailed information, you can review our cookie policy.