The policy of “isolation”, a popular form of punishment in interpersonal relations, because it works every time, determining countries’ diplomacies so openly and quickly, honestly surprised me. “Isolation,” which can also be defined as the act of jointly wearing down the weak by those gathered around the powerful on the grounds of fear, gains or purely out of evil, in accordance with the orders and instructions of the powerful, is being applied at the regional scale in front of our eyes. Those who are doing it are the Gulf countries, while the one being isolated is also a Gulf country. Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen and Saudi Arabia have severed all diplomatic ties with Qatar. They sealed off their sea and air fields and ended all kinds of export and import with Qatar.
Since I associate such things a little with being undeveloped and childish, I was surprised at what is being done to Qatar in front of our eyes. Big countries gathering to exclude one from among them seemed strange. Meanwhile, the view of a sword dance and leaders lined up around a shining “magic orb” was a very developed scene, and that too is questionable. I don’t think the present times are the world’s most sensible ages.
However, there is no joke to it, because with their long-term alliance on Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar had given the appearance of a serious Sunni alliance, while they also gave a considerable convincing appearance in terms of the sides at the Syria table equalizing their hands, being regional. Some relate the souring of ties between Saudi Arabia’s new king with the U.S during Barack Obama’s term in office as “the disagreement between the Saudis and the U.S.’s democrats,” however, I personally think the real reason is different. Hence, the milestone in the straining of Saudi-U.S. ties coincides with Saudi Arabia joining the triangle Turkey is trying to establish in the region by going its own way, and considering it one of the pillars of reasonability on Syria.
Later, Saudi Arabia was taught a lesson; when even the U.S.’s alleviation of the sanctions on Iran during the Obama administration hit the Persians’ sectarian nerve, the Yemen incidents and the Iran-Saudi conflict broke out. Those who have been closely following the process will recognize that what Saudi Arabia has been facing in Yemen is a complete lesson. Let us remember that tens of thousands have been sacrificed in two years and that 10,000 of these are Saudi soldiers. The cost of the Yemen attacks on Saudi Arabia back then exceeded $1.5 trillion and as a result of low oil prices, the Saudis had felt the effect of this in multitudes on their economy during that period. Let us remember the insolvency rumors. Talk such as, “What will become of Saudi Arabia’s economy?” were probably being uttered for the first time in history.
Looking at it from the current perspective, the third of the pillars giving the “magic orb” pose together with both U.S. President Donald Trump and the Saudi king being Egypt’s coup plotter President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi is quite interesting. Hence, Qatar being sieged due to its support to the Muslim Brotherhood, or Ikhwan, in Egypt and Hamas in Palestine, immediately followed the globe photograph.
Yes, Qatar was warned on this matter previously as well. In 2014, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE had withdrawn their ambassadors from the Qatari capital of Doha, based again on the accusation that it supports terrorists. However, the diplomatic crisis was overcome in time and the Gulf’s autocratic countries had not turned the incident into a regional crisis to the extent it has reached today. Thus, even though Turkey’s attitude toward Egypt is clear, despite it not recognizing the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas as terrorist organizations and declaring this at every opportunity, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan continued to keep his relations with the Saudi king based on politeness and friendship alive. Also, Saudi Arabia had not chosen to punish the countries in its hinterlands for supporting the Muslim Brotherhood, which could mean, with its democratic structure and suggestions, destruction for all the authoritarian states in the region.
But first, Saudi Arabia’s experience in Yemen – even though the situation is relatively normalized now – its economy having been shaken, leads them to stand against any democratic dream that may provoke the Saudi Arabians stronger than ever, in a way that will make them pay a price for this cause. Saudi Arabia no longer has the comfort to ensure the politeness of overlooking Turkey’s theories that do not suit them.
Second, I don’t know if you would say this is because it has learned enough lessons or because they get along better with a Republican president, but Trump seeming to be against the expansionism of Shiite Iran – unlike Obama – has motivated Saudi Arabia following the Yemen experience. This motivation has also paved the way for the harsh measures taken against Qatar.
As for the third and strangest result, the measures taken to prevent sectarian expansionism, led to a new division, like there weren’t enough divisions in the region already. The Sunni states divided into two while trying to prevent the Shiite. And as if this wasn’t enough, Israel loved the resulting picture.
What else were we expecting to come out of a “magic orb” that Trump is standing around?