While we were busy with the local elections in Turkey, the 30th Arab League Summit was held in Tunisia. Even if we weren’t occupied with the elections, the summit had no solution or will that could solve any problem of the region and the world.
Although Tunisian President Essebsi dubbed the event as the “summit of solidarity and determination,” there was neither solidarity nor determination.
The Arab League has no solution or will to solve the most critical problems of the Arab world today. For instance, they didn’t go beyond merely stating a few words officially regarding the Palestinian issue in the summit, which is held annually just for the sake of it, and has no validity. They didn’t take any decisions or show any signs of “cooperation” regarding the disputes between the Gulf countries. Without putting forth a strong condemning attitude regarding the U.S.’s decision to recognize the Israeli annexation of Golan Heights, they merely contented themselves by stating that “Golan Heights is Syrian territory.”
How could the summit possibly put forth a resolution? Saudi King Salman b. Abdelaziz, who is seen as the strongest leader among them, displayed the importance he attaches to the summit by leaving in the middle of it and departing for his country even though he arrived in Tunisia two days before. It was as if his primary aim was to visit Tunisia and the summit was just an excuse. Therefore, for those who didn’t leave, the summit had become nothing more than a formality. Similarly, Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamand el-Thani left the summit without making his own speech in the opening session during Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmad Aboul Gheit’s talk. Sources close to the emir relate that this sudden decision was taken by him as a reaction against the Secretary General’s accusation of Turkey for interfering in the internal affairs of the Arabs.
The fact that Arab countries, which have been struggling with endless internal issues, tolerate the interference of the U.S. and many European countries, and even tolerate their governance and colonization, only see Turkey as “foreign” demonstrates how ignorant and detached the leaders of the Arab League are from their people. None of these leaders, for instance, is close to his people as much as Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Maybe this is one of the reasons why they are uncomfortable, but at this juncture, let's pay attention to two realities regarding the “internal affairs of the Arabs and Turkey’s position.”
Turkey, because of the internal problems of the Arab world and the human tragedies caused by the oppression of the Arab people by their leaders-- the leaders who spend most of their time in the summit sleeping-- is handling all of these problems on its own. Over 3,5 million Syrians who fled their countries to avoid becoming one of the 1,5 million massacred by Bashar Assad, an Arab leader, were welcomed as guests as a result of this stance.
Again, Turkey wholeheartedly opened its doors to the tens of thousands of people who fled Egypt, the biggest Arab country, not to become one of the people who was unrightfully massacred, tortured or jailed by the putschist regime.
Again, Turkey is the only country involved in the Yemen war-- which was carried out by the two wealthiest Arab countries, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates-- solely for humanitarian purposes. Turkey also opened its doors to the people who fled Yemen due to of this war, and they finally found peace and welfare in Turkey.
Turkey, by considering the Arabs who were mistreated and oppressed by their “Arab” leaders as brothers and sisters, are giving them the rights, benefits, and love and respect they have never seen before. In this way, Turkey is actually giving a strong message to the Arab leaders about how they should treat their own people.
However, the Arab leaders at the summit accused Turkey of interfering in Arabs’ internal affairs. Which is more like an Arab country?
For God’s sake, the number of those who took refuge in Turkey is over 4 million alone and even this number is more than the population of most of the Arab countries who were talking it up in the summit.
On top of that, if we consider the citizens of the Republic of Turkey, who are of Arab origin--their numbers being around 4-5 million-- we are talking about an 8-10 million Arab population here. How many of those countries who participated in the Arab League Summit have an Arab population that exceeds this number?
I want to clearly state here that: Turkey has the right to speak on behalf of even the Arab world both because of the Arab population it has and its activeness in burdening the problems of its Arab brothers and sisters more than anyone. This right has been given to Turkey by the Arab peoples a long time ago, and those who don’t recognize this right might even lose their legitimacy in the eyes of their own people.
This right and influence can neither be given nor taken by some names in the summit! This right has been greatly earned.
We suggest for the next summit that Arab leaders should discuss how they are going to give Arab-Muslim people the rights, the honorable life and the welfare that they deserve.
This is an actual debate. For this discussion alone, it is sufficient if they take the rights Turkey has given to the Arabs as an example. If they resort to such a beneficial method, Turkey is ready to give them any support they need. Because Turkey knows that the way to sustain the state goes through sustaining the welfare of the people, and it is willing to share its experience it gained thanks to this awareness with everybody.