Ankara: Turkey has been “vehemently” fighting for the leadership role in the Islamic world by replacing Saudi Arabia, according to a report by EurAsian Times.
Turkey backing China, Pakistan
It appears that Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has the backing of China and Pakistan to oust Saudi Arabia from the helm of the Islamic world.
“…It appears that Turkey under President Erdogan, with the backing of China and Pakistan, aims to achieve a leadership role in the Islamic world and oust Saudi Arabia from this place,” Journalist Syed Shafiq writes in EurAsian Times.
The report said the transformation of Hagia Sophia from a museum into a mosque has “smashed” any hope for Ankara to join the European Union and has “instead pulled it towards pan Islamism”.
The first signal of attempts to oust Saudi Arabia comes when Malaysia organised the Kuala Lumpur Summit to create another front of the Muslim world to undermine Saudi-controlled Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) last year.
Shafiq said that the relations between Turkey and India have also deteriorated due to Erdogan’s “open support for Pakistan and the Kashmiri militants” and the Turkish leadership efforts to help Islamabad in the conflict with the Financial Action Task Force or the FATF.
Turkey, Pakistan support each other
Turkey and Pakistan have provided continuous support to each other at the international level. They also have a high level of cooperation in the military sphere.
However, Shafiq said there are few complications in Pakistani-Turkish relations.
The biggest political problems between the two ‘iron brothers’ include the disagreements on the Uyghur issue who face persecution in the Xinjiang region by the Chinese communist government.
Due to extremely close ties with China, Pakistan calls the rebels of the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement as terrorists while Turkey has consistently criticised China for its obnoxious policies in Xinjiang.
Later, President Erdogan slightly changed his position on the Uyghur issue out of a desire to strengthen economic ties with China, including through the China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
All this coincided with the deterioration of Turkey’s relations with the United States and the European Union while getting close to Russia.
Even as Erdogan is undoing the foundations of modern Turkey as envisaged by its founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Ankara continues to be the regional transit hub for the Islamic State terror group, according to a new watchdog report released by the US State Department earlier this month.
Though democratically elected, Erdogan has behaved in an increasingly autocratic fashion and has little patience for European-styled secularism as envisaged by Ataturk. Under the Erdogan regime, there has been a crackdown on dissent and critics of the government have been sent behind bars.