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Daily News Analysis

Will Erdogan’s meeting with MbZ really benefit Turkey?

Crescent International

It is reported that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s meeting with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MbZ) delivered concrete economic and political results.

Looking deeper, the meeting appears to be an economic and political gamble for Turkey and its government.

While Erdogan supporters both at home and abroad started chest thumping because he secured a $10 billion investment pledge from the UAE, its economic benefits to Turkey may be limited.

The superficiality of UAE’s investment is not only confirmed by economic experts, but also by history.

In 2018, Qatar pumped $3 billion into the Turkish economy as a currency swap deal to help Ankara strengthen its financial system.

Since then, Doha has apparently invested a few more billions into the Turkish economy.

Turkey’s ongoing economic difficulties show that its ability to milk the US vassal regime in Doha has not helped it build a resilient economy.

Crescent International spoke to economists in Turkey and abroad about the argument that a cheap lira will make Turkish goods more competitive, reduce the current account deficit leading to a lower demand for US dollars.

Further, it will help the lira-dollar exchange rate.

This is unlikely to happen since the inflation spiral is risky and unpredictable.

In West Asia, technicalities alone do not explain economic conditions because they are tied to politics.

It was pointed out to Crescent International that when the so-called international community wants to prop up a regime in West Asia, it pumps billions of dollars into its economy.

It does not have to make economic sense.

One of the key components of long-term solution to Turkey’s current account deficit—in a nutshell meaning it imports more than it exports—is to bolster domestic manufacturing and production.

This would be aided by low interest rates.

However, over the past 20 years while being part of the Western global economic order, the AKP government did not take strategic long-term initiatives to make its economy less West-centric and increase domestic manufacturing.

While there are many long-term economic drawbacks to Turkey’s latest deal with the UAE, it is the negative political repercussions which will further diminish Erdogan’s reputation both at home and abroad.

After the Western-backed Egyptian military regime crushed the movement for Islamic Awakening, Turkey became the hub for exiled Muslim Brotherhood activists and leaders from the entire Arab world.

The Abu Dhabi regime is staunchly anti-Islamic which views the Muslim Brotherhood as mortal enemy.

It will attempt to pressure Ankara to curtail the Brotherhood’s activities.

The UAE is unlikely to continue providing money while Erdogan actively supports the Islamic group.

Thus, Erdogan will have to choose between prolonging his stay in power and his regional reputation.

With all its fallacies and weaknesses, the Muslim Brotherhood remains the Arab world’s most popular socio-political movement.

Thus, Ankara is unlikely to pressure the Muslim Brotherhood significantly and give up its most potent foreign policy leverage in the Arab world.

The UAE probably understand this and is willing to tolerate it for now.

It will allow Abu Dhabi to exert more pressure on Turkey in the future.

By opening the Turkish economy to Abu Dhabi’s money, Erdogan is creating a future political and economic leverage for the UAE’s chief patrons, the US and the Zionist occupiers of Palestine.

His latest photo-op with MbZ is seen by many Muslim socio-political activists as his selling out to the region’s despotic and destabilizing entity.

Considering that Erdogan’s reputation is already declining, his latest overture towards the UAE will be another political and economic liability for Turkey.

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