Daily Management Review

Historical Turkish-Saudi Rivalry Reignited By Khashoggi Investigation: WSJ


Historical Turkish-Saudi Rivalry Reignited By Khashoggi Investigation: WSJ
According to the analysis columnist Yaroslav Trofimov  published in the Wall Street Journal, behind the strong push that the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is giving to find out the culprits behind the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and holding Saudi Arabia responsible for it is the long legacy of rivalry between the Sunni dominated Middle east Muslin nations of Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
Admission that Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 was made by Saudi Arabia last week. Veteran journalist Khashoggi is known to have opposed the policies and practices of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his critical nature of his writing had forced him to live in self-imposed exile in United States ever since 2017 when Prince Mohammed came to power.
Trofimov said that in the discourse surrounding the murder of Khashoggi, there has hardly been any mention of the gruesome history between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
“But the long legacy of rivalry between the two Sunni Muslim powers—both of them key American allies—has fueled Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s determination to punish the House of Saud for Mr. Khashoggi’s death,” Trofimov said.
During the discourse following of Khashoggi’s disappearance and subsequent death, Erdoğan proclaimed that Turkey “is the only country that can lead the Muslim world,” and had ocntorl over the holiest sites of Islam in Mecca and Medina, the columnist said that the House of Saud also sees this role as its natural right.
Trofimov said since coming to assuming power in 2015, Prince Mohammed has attempted to place Saudi Arabia as the leader of the Middle Eastern nations through the formation of a coalition of Sunni countries like the United Arab Emirates and Egypt and had launched war against Iranian allies in Yemen.
A group that has Erdoğan’s support in the Arab world, the Muslim Brotherhood, have also been pursued by Saudi Arabia.
On the other hand, Turkey had sent troops to Qatar in 2017 which was placed under a Saudi led embargo as a response resist to Saudi Arabia’s rising influence in the region. And according to Trofimov, Turkey was also engaged in evicting Saudi allies from Somalia, agreed to a deal to lease an island across the Red Sea from Saudi Arabia in Sudan.
Trofimov said that while Turkey has been allowed to become a popular hub for Islamist dissidents from across the Arab world, the country’s president has also portrayed himself as the champion of conventional Muslim issues like the Palestine crisis as well as of new ones such as the Rohingya genocide in Myanmar.
“The Saudi royal family will never forget how the Ottoman—the Turkish—soldiers came twice and destroyed their state. People tend to forget it in good times, but it comes back again and again,” political scientist Abdulkhaleq Abdulla said. 
“Now, with the Khashoggi affair igniting global outrage, Mr. Erdogan has seized his chance,” Tromifov said. 
(Adapted from AhvalNews.com)