Erdogan has made it clear to the world that he supports the Iranian Regime, led by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. In fact, he even called Iranian President Hassan Rouhani when the Iranian anti-regime uprising began in December to voice his support for the mullahs in charge. His foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, did the same.
More recently Turkish spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said that Turkey rejected the returning US sanctions on Iran and that Turkey would not abide by them.
This is clear support of the Khamenei Regime, which causes so much strife in the Middle East, including recently ordering its Houthi militia in Yemen to attack two Saudi oil tankers in the Bab al-Mandeb Strait.
Why does Turkey support Iran?
There are many reasons floating around, from Turkey’s need for Iranian gas to the ongoing feud between Turkey and the current US administration, who have been notably tough on Iran.
While Saudi journalist Mashari Althaydi, who presents Al Arabiya News Channel’s daily show “Maraya”, wrote: “Erdogan’s Turkey is clearly with the camp of states that support the project of political Islam, whether Shiite or Sunni. It is political and media support, and perhaps security support, to Doha’s authorities and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt are examples of the role, which Turkey wants to assume under the directions of populist President Erdogan.”
Most experts seem to be indicating that it is a mixture of those three, which is why all of them need to be tackled to stop Erdogan from supporting Iran.
It’s fairly easy to find another gas supplier for Turkey, but the other things are much harder.
There are many things that stand between a good working relationship between the US and Turkey, including Turkey’s jailing of an American pastor and the US’s harbouring of Fethullah Gulen, an enemy of Erdogan, and currently it represents an ongoing deep crisis. It’s not just inflammatory statements, but also the freezing of ministers’ accounts and economic wars.
That’s why diplomatic efforts have been launched by NATO, which both countries are a member of. Hopefully, these discussions will bring forward peace, but international diplomacy also needs to help Turkey realise that basing their support on sectarian view will not help. The Iranian Regime cares little for Shiite or Sunni and instead supports any rogue state or terrorist militia that will help them achieve regional control.