Recep Erdogan, leader of Muslims

From the BBC:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged leaders of Muslim nations to recognise Jerusalem as the “occupied capital of the Palestinian state”.

The BBC’s Mark Lowen in Istanbul says the rhetoric at the start of the OIC summit was strong.

But the question is what in practice the grouping can do, he adds, given the fact some members are more pro-Trump than others.

Actually, the issue has little to do with Trump. Every generation a Muslim leader fancies himself as the leader of Muslims everywhere or, to begin with, regional boss: the Saudis, being custodians of the two holy sites, believe it should be their king; Egypt’s Nasser pushed his way to the front during the years when Arab nationalism was fashionable; Libya’s Gaddafi was always blathering about forming some pan-Arab-African union or other, headed by himself of course; the Iranians don’t shy away from the role of religious leadership especially among the Shia, but have now spilled into Sunni areas like Syria and Qatar where previously they weren’t welcome. Now we have Erdogan putting himself forward as the natural leader of the region and, he hopes, Muslims everywhere.

He might as well try putting himself at the head of the Combined Manchester and Liverpool Football Supporters Club while wearing a red shirt. If there is one thing Muslims in the Middle East hate more than Jews it is other Muslims from a different sect or tribe thinking they’re in charge. Erdogan probably lacks the self-awareness and sense of Arab history to understand that any attempt to rally Muslims under his banner will be met with suspicion as to his motives, and have the Saudis calling the Israelis for transcripts of his phone calls.

One of the main reasons Israel has survived for so long is because its enemies are more distrustful of one another than they are of Israel itself. Erdogan is probably going to find this out before too long:

Mr Erdogan instead urged a unified response by Muslim nations to Mr Trump’s Jerusalem decision.

“I invite all the countries that value international law and justice to recognise Jerusalem as the occupied capital of the Palestinian state,” he said.

Good luck with that.

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19 thoughts on “Recep Erdogan, leader of Muslims

  1. Trump could confound everyone and perhaps advance things a bit by supporting East Jerusalem as the capital of a putative future Palestinian state. He never said Israel’s capital is ALL of Jerusalem, just their capital is Jerusalem.

  2. A Palestinian State never set up and therefore having no capital.

    Yeah, and someone ought to ask him why the Ottomans never set one up. It’s not like they didn’t have time.

  3. The Arabs will not recognise a Palestinian state until it has full control of all they territory they call the “zionist entity” and have driven all the Jews into the sea. To do so would also be to recognise Israel by the back door.

    That’s Erdogan’s second mistake here. The first was alienating yet another friend (Israel), continuing the unbroken form from recent dealings with Germany, Russia, Greece, etc etc.

  4. “Combined Manchester and Liverpool Football Supporters Club while wearing a red shirt.”

    A blue shirt maybe?

  5. Not to mention that many (most?) Turks believe that Arabs are inferior humans (and I’m being generous in that choice of words), and still carry around historical grudges against the Arabs generally, and the Palestinians in particular. A Turkish friend said she didn’t trust Palestinians because they turned against Ottoman soldiers during the Ottoman-Egyptian War (in the 1830s!) when Ibrahim Pasha/Mohammed Ali Pasha invaded Syria. And Arabs pretty much detest Turks too, again reflecting both cultural prejudice and historical grudges (notably Ottoman rule over the Arabs culminating in the Arab Revolt during WWI).

    So yeah. Erodo’s gambit will fail epically.

    This also brings another Erdo story to mind. After Mohammed Ali (the boxer!) died, Erdo insisted on giving a eulogy at the funeral. This was initially agreed to, but then rejected, and Erdogan left the US early in a huff. And as is par for the course, his security people got into a scuffle with local security personnel.

    I am guessing Erdogan’s latest grandstanding will end just as ignominiously.

  6. The Messianic end times punters are getting a bit excited of late with things shaping up in accordance with Christian, Jewish and Moslem messianic teachings. Lets not forget the dudes that are into this stuff make sure that it happens because it is written, not because it needs to happen. This latest Muslim summit called by Erdogan could be a further sign that he is to be the Dajjal the Antichrist as we move towards the Armageddon.

    Expect to see a sign during the Ashes test as the WACA.

    From chabad.org

    “The prophet Ezekiel (chapters 38-39) describes a climactic battle that will be instigated by Gog and/of Magog, and will be waged against Israel and G‑d. The defeat of Gog and Magog will precipitate the Messianic Redemption”

  7. Patrick, that would miss the entire point, as the key area of contention – namely, the Old City which houses all the sites holy to the three religions, is located in East Jerusalem.

  8. The scene in the film Lawrence of Arabia where you see all the tribes arguing in Damascus is a case in point. Lawrence wanted the Arabs to capture the city to demonstrate their power to Allenby and the Allied governments. All they showed was incapacity, inability to co-operate or co-exist. Has anything changed, he asked sadly?

  9. Is the location of the new US Embassy complex yet confirmed? If so, will it be located in West Jerusalem (i.e. within the pre-1967 borders of Israel)? I presume it would be a provocation one step too far, even for Trump, to have the embassy in East Jerusalem?

  10. That’s Erdogan’s second mistake here.

    Good point, and well spotted. The Arabs have absolutely no intention of a Palestinian state being allowed to exist even if Israel disappeared magically in a puff of smoke tomorrow. When I lived in the Gulf the Palestinians were seen as nothing but troublemakers.

  11. Not to mention that many (most?) Turks believe that Arabs are inferior humans (and I’m being generous in that choice of words), and still carry around historical grudges against the Arabs generally, and the Palestinians in particular.

    Exactly. The lower-classes in Turkey are recognised by their dialect being closer to Arabic that that of the upper and middle-class Turks.

    And as is par for the course, his security people got into a scuffle with local security personnel.

    I saw the footage of the punchup in DC at the Kurdish rally. I thought the US authorities should have come down on Erdogan’s thugs like a tonne of bricks over that incident.

  12. Expect to see a sign during the Ashes test as the WACA.

    Nothing short of divine intervention is what is required, I feel.

  13. If there is one thing Muslims in the Middle East hate more than Jews it is other Muslims from a different sect or tribe thinking they’re in charge.

    Well, maybe also the British thinking they were in charge.

  14. Patrick, that would miss the entire point, as the key area of contention – namely, the Old City which houses all the sites holy to the three religions, is located in East Jerusalem.

    I don’t think anyone would have described the Old City being in East Jerusalem before 1948, though. It would have just been “Jerusalem”. If it is “East Jerusalem” now, that’s because it is east of the Green Line.

    However, if we bring the Green Line into it, the Knesset and all the other institutions of the modern Israeli state are west of the Green Line, so there is no real trouble recognising that they form Israel’s capital, is there?

    (Michael ducks).

  15. Well, maybe also the British thinking they were in charge.

    Well, yes. But I was trying to think of something unique to the Muslims in the Middle East: everyone is chippy about the British ruling over them. Expat perhaps the Singaporeans, I noticed they didn’t spend half their time moaning about the Brits.

  16. ‘I invite all the countries that value international law and justice”

    Well that rules out the members of the OIC then

  17. Michael: sure, I was replying specifically to Patrick’s suggestion,
    the point being that the main issue for both sides is the possession of the holy sites, plus the Jewish Quarter inside the Old City with its mostly Arab population. Most of the rest of the city is more-or-less neatly divided by the Green Line as far as the Jewish and Arab populations are concerned, making it much less of a problem for any future agreement (not that I expect any such agreement to materialize in the foreseeable future, and not that it would be totally problem-free even if it did).

    (Michael ducks)

    😀

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