English-language Turkish media reported yesterday that the country’s parliament, which the Daily News described as “dominated by deputies from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP),” rejected an opposition-filed censure motion filed against AKP Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu over his role in generating the recent precipitous decline in Turkey’s regional stature. The motion cited among other things souring relations between Ankara and Cairo, which collapsed after Egypt’s army removed from power the country’s Muslim Brotherhood-linked then-president Mohammed Morsi in the wake of mass anti-government protests. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan subsequently and repeatedly lashed out against Cairo’s army-backed government, accusing the army of acting against the Brotherhood as part of a Jewish plot – a statement defended by Davutoglu – and pledging to continue supporting Morsi. The posture was part of a broader policy that saw the AKP aligning Turkey with Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood, in opposition to a bloc of more moderate Sunni states and Israel, and with both opposing a Shiite camp anchored by Iran and including its Syrian client and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah. The Republican People’s Party (CHP) gestured toward the dynamic, declaring in its censure motion that “the international public almost identifies [Turkey’s] Justice and Development Party government with the Muslim Brotherhood.”
“The loneliness to which Turkey was dragged due to the government’s policies is negatively affecting its commercial relations with the region and beyond,” read the motion, signed by the CHP’s deputy parliamentary group chairs Akif Hamzaçebi, Engin Altay and Muharrem İnce. The motion argued that the government’s policies toward Syria, Iraq, Iran and Egypt had all failed, which had left Turkey in a very dangerous position. It also accused Davutoğlu of “interfering” in the policies of neighboring countries.
“One of the basic foreign policy mistakes of the government is to downgrade or entirely cut diplomatic relations with neighbors who adopt policies of which it doesn’t approve,” it said. “Due to the government’s crooked policies, based on false predictions and erroneous expectations, our diplomatic relations have been entirely cut with Syria, with which we are almost in a state of war,” the motion added.
The Asia Times theorized yesterday that Davutoglu is looking to “partner up” with his Iranian counterpart, Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, in order to break Turkey out of its growing isolation.
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