MIDEAST MIRROR 26.06.15, SECTION B (THE ARAB WORLD)
1-Yemen’s forgotten war
2-Riyadh opens up to the Brotherhood
3-Israel’s Druze dilemma
4-Turkey: the Kurdish factor
1-Yemen’s forgotten war
The debate in Houthi circles now is over two main points: Should they continue their shelling of Saudi towns and cities with Katyusha and Grad rockets, or should they resort to their longer-range and more destructive Scud missiles? And how would the Saudis react if they were to resort to the latter? And there is another related point: Would it be useful to infiltrate deep into Saudi territories and occupy villages and cities, as ISIS is doing in Iraq and Syria despite the American aerial bombardment? And how would Saudi Arabia react in that case? We do not know what these debates may produce or what the Houthis and their allies' final decision may look like. But what we do know is that the ground war of attrition along the Saudi/Yemeni borders will escalate, as will the number of people killed on both sides--pan-Arab www.raialyoum.com
No one gains in this chaos. With the passage of time, and if the Yemeni parties fail to reach an agreement, the Yemeni conflict will turn into a forgotten war, as is the case in Somalia. It is a great lie to delude the Yemenis into believing that the world is concerned about them and wishes to find a peaceful solution for their problem. The region is rife with crises and fires. It is also a great delusion for anyone to believe that the various parties – Iranians, Russians, or Westerners – will continue to back Yemen forever. If the crisis lasts for a year or two or more, the Yemenis will discover that everyone has turned their attention to other issues, and that even the UN secretary-general and his envoy will no longer respond to their phone calls. This is what the Somalis have come to realize in their endless quarter-of-a-century-long war--'Abderrahman ar-Rashed in Saudi Asharq al-Awsat
The major new development in Yemen is the announcement of the death of an Emirati soldier in the fighting with the Houthis and their allies, notes the editorial in an online pan-Arab daily. This indicates that the UAE's participation in the war is not confined to aerial bombardment. Meanwhile, the war of attrition along the Saudi/Yemeni borders is likely to escalate against the background of a possible famine in the country. Yemen's war threatens to turn into a long and extended confrontation that the world will forget about, similar to what is happening in Somalia, warns a veteran Saudi commentator. The only way out is for all Yemeni parties to come together and agree on a viable political system in which everyone has equal rights.
NO NEWS: "Reports regarding the developments in the war in Yemen have become routine and repetitious," writes Friday's editorial on the pan-Arab www.raialyoum.com
It is in fact difficult to find a new angle that would add any new information to the readers, who have begun to be bored by following the news. After three months of continuous aerial bombardments by Operation Decisive Storm's warplanes, the Houthi/Saleh alliance has not surrendered or raised the white flag, while the Storm's warplanes have not grown tired of their constant attacks despite the fact that their 'target bank' has run out. After all, Saudi Arabia’s arsenals are brimming with bombs and missiles of all shapes and sizes.
Yesterday, this toxic routine was broken. The international news agencies carried reports of two developments that would whet the appetite of any journalist looking for something new to report to the thirsty and greedy reader:
- First, there was a Saudi statement admitting that three Saudi soldiers had been killed by a shell fired by the Yemeni coalition from the other side of the border, as well as that an Emirati soldier was killed in clashes with the Houthis in the 'Assir area.
- Second, the new UN Yemen Envoy Mr. Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed stressed that Yemen was on the verge of a famine because of the dearth of basic food supplies as a result of the siege imposed on its ports and airports, the ongoing war, and the failure to agree on a truce during the month of Ramadan.
The death of Saudi soldiers along the borders with Yemen is not a hot news item; but the death of an Emirati soldiers is. The common impression was that the Gulf states' participation in the Saudi war on the Houthis and their supporters from the army units loyal to former president Ali 'Abdullah Saleh, was confined to aerial operations. This is the first confirmation that armed Emirati forces are deployed on the Saudi side of the southern borders with Yemen.
The second point, namely, Ould Cheikh Ahmed's assertion that Yemen is on the verge of starvation, warrants attention because it was made by a UN mediator. But Ould Cheikh Ahmad only uttered half the truth. Yemen entered the famine zone weeks ago. It no longer has anything to eat thanks to the siege imposed on it. This nation was hungry, poor, and destitute even before the war began. What can we expect now that that has been going on for three consecutive months, with a suffocating air, sea and ground siege imposed on all its seaports, airports and border posts by those behind Operation Decisive Storm?
As confirmed by raialyoum’s sources, the Houthis are betting on a long war of attrition against Saudi Arabia. They believe that the front for this war is Yemen's northern border and Saudi's southern border. Since their primitive rockets cannot down the very advanced Saudi warplanes, they will aim them at the Saudi border villages and cities and 'down' ground troops instead. And this is what has been happening.
A ground war is what the Houthis and their ally former president Saleh are good at; at least they can stand their ground in such a conflict. After all, they do not have much to lose. Sa'da – their city or, rather, their capital – has been totally destroyed, as has its neighboring city 'Omran, together with the entire Yemeni infrastructure, including football stadiums that had allegedly been turned into arms depots.
The debate in Houthi circles now is over two main points: Should they continue their shelling of Saudi towns and cities with Katyusha and Grad rockets, or should they resort to their longer-range and more destructive Scud missiles? And how would the Saudis react if they were to resort to the latter? And there is another related point: Would it be useful to infiltrate deep into Saudi territories and occupy villages and cities, as ISIS is doing in Iraq and Syria despite the American aerial bombardment? And how would Saudi Arabia react in that case?
We do not know what these debates may produce or what the Houthis and their allies' final decision may look like. But what we do know is that the ground war of attrition along the Saudi/Yemeni borders will escalate, as will the number of people killed on both sides.
"And we also know that the generous, patient, and chivalrous Yemeni nation no longer has any option other than to die from the bombardment, or from starvation – or both," concludes the editorial.
LOW EXPECTATIONS: "From the very beginning, we did not expect much from the Geneva Yemen conference held under the UN's sponsorship and at its general-secretary's insistence," writes 'Abderrahman ar-Rashed in Friday's Saudi-owned pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.
The meeting was restricted to the Yemeni forces struggling for power, while the representatives of the concerned states sat outside the meeting hall. The opposition – specifically the Houthi rebels and the supporters of deposed president Ali Saleh – viewed the meeting as an opportunity to secure international recognition as legitimate parties. As for the legitimate [Hadi] Yemeni government, it found it had to appease the UN because it will be in dire need of it later.
But Geneva does not influence Sana'a. It will not stem the Yemeni state's collapse. This fragmentation, which is the result of the multiplicity of forces and the conflict among them, as well as the political vacuum and absence of a central government on the ground, will push the country towards a Somali-like situation: A civil war against the background of conflict between foreign powers.
The Somali war began in 1991 and it rages still. Neighboring countries have joined it, and the U.S. sent its forces, but the result was not decided. Finally, all parties abandoned it, and no one cares much about it anymore except Somalia's people who are being scorched by the fire of war on a daily basis.
Yemen will only slide towards the worst if the forces fighting it out do not accept a political solution that brings them together in a single system with equal rights. This is the same Gulf/European proposal that the Yemenis accepted three years ago, and that the Houthis later turned against incited by Iran. Despite the fighting we are witnessing today, there are many forces in Yemen and most have not committed to the battle in force, while some have not joined in at all.
There are separatist Southern Yemeni forces, and other Southern Yemeni forces that are opposed to them. There are tribal Northern Yemeni forces. And then there is al-Qa'ida, of course, which lies in wait and will try to capture areas on which it can establish its rule – as its sister organization ISIS has done in Syria and Iraq. And this is all in addition to the three main forces fighting it out – the Houthis, Saleh, and the legitimate government.
The Houthis and Saleh alike will lose the chance to rule Yemen as a result of the ongoing fighting. But each party will initially believe that it has won simply because it has denied the other party the chance of ruling. The Houthis in particular had privileges in the previous government – before the coup. They had influence that far exceeded their political weight. But their part in the coup game and their greed for power have ruined that dish for them.
No one gains in this chaos. With the passage of time, and if the Yemeni parties fail to reach an agreement, the Yemeni conflict will turn into a forgotten war, as is the case in Somalia.
It is a great lie to delude the Yemenis into believing that the world is concerned about them and wishes to find a peaceful solution for their problem. The region is rife with crises and fires. It is also a great delusion for anyone to believe that the various parties – Iranians, Russians, or Westerners – will continue to back Yemen forever. If the crisis lasts for a year or two or more, the Yemenis will discover that everyone has turned their attention to other issues, and that even the UN secretary-general and his envoy will no longer respond to their phone calls. This is what the Somalis have come to realize in their endless quarter-of-a-century-long war.
We address all of Yemen's various leaders, legitimate and rebellious and beseech them to think of the day after today. We warn them against the threat of a permanent slide and call upon them to seek a political solution that brings them together within a system that is viable and sustainable.
"Apart from that, it would be difficult to repair a relationship that is akin to a glass pane that has been shattered," concludes Rashed.
2-Riyadh opens up to the Brotherhood
Riyadh has moved towards reconciling with the Muslim Brotherhood as part of its new regional policy, the main problem stems from the continuing antagonism between the Brotherhood and the Egyptian regime, says Mohammad Yaghi in today's Palestinian al-Ayyam
One of the most important policy changes in Saudi Arabia under the new monarch has been its openness to the Muslim Brotherhood and its attempt to unite all 'Sunni' forces in a battle against Iran, argues a Palestinian commentator. The main obstacle to this policy remains Egypt, more specifically, the person of Egyptian President Sissi.
UNWISE DECISION: "There has been a new development in Saudi Arabia's policy since the death of King 'Abdullah," writes Mohammad Yaghi in Friday's leading Palestinian daily al-Ayyam.
Unlike his predecessor, the new King, Salman, believes that the decision to 'crush' the Muslim Brotherhood that was taken after the  coup against Egyptian president Mursi was not a wise one. Classifying the Brotherhood as a terrorist organization in Egypt, marginalizing the [Muslim Brotherhood] Islah Party's role in President Hadi's Yemeni government, classifying Hamas as a terrorist organization, hostility towards Libya's Brotherhood – all these have only promoted Iran's interests in the region, in the view of the new Saudi administration.
Hamas's military wing, for example, expressed its deep gratitude for the Iranian aid it received that allowed it to stand its ground in the face of Israel’s assaults on Gaza. Weakening the Yemeni Islah Party enabled the [Houthi] Ansarullah, who are Iran's allies, to extend their control over most of the country. The only reason that Egypt and Libya's Brotherhood did not turn to Iran was because Qatar continues to help them. Escalating the disagreement with Qatar over this issue, and forcing it to abandon the Brotherhood could drive the Libyan Brotherhood into Imam Khamenei’s lap in the absence of a state that 'finances' them and provides them with the 'media support' that embraces their cause.
The attempt to crush the Brotherhood under the late Saudi king also complicated the Saudi/Turkish/Qatari alliance in Syria. On one side, Turkey and Qatar want the Brotherhood's military wings to play the most prominent role in the confrontation with the Syrian regime. The two countries hope to domesticate the Qa'ida-affiliated Nusra Front so as to work closely with the armed Brotherhood factions in Syria. The decision to crush the Brotherhood led Turkey and Qatar to be more hesitant about coordinating their positions and policies with Saudi Arabia over the Syrian file. This was evident from the conflict between the two camps over the presidency of the Syrian National Coalition (SNC) and its government in exile.
The new Saudi king has adopted a more astute line: Why should we be hostile towards the Brotherhood and drive them into the enemies' lap if it is possible to tame them and involve them in the battle against Iran on the Kingdom's side?
The whole thing began with an article in [Saudi-owned] al-Hayat on March 7th 2015 by Jamal Khashogji, who is close to Saudi Arabia’s decision-making circles. He wrote: 'Dragging the Brotherhood factor into the plans for confronting the setbacks of the last two years only made the situation worse. Those who insisted on excluding them from the formulae to bring about change foiled Saudi/Turkish cooperation, which is the only form of cooperation that can end the setbacks in light of the two countries' stability and strength. And the worsening situation in Libya, Yemen, and Syria has also ended up threatening stability in other countries.'
This article, that hinted at changes in Saudi policy, was followed by [Saudi] pressure on Egypt in two directions: Towards reconciliation with the Brotherhood, and reconciliation with Hamas. These pressures have now apparently borne fruit after the Egyptian judiciary has dropped the charges of terrorism against Hamas and in the partial reopening of the Rafah crossing, and the restoration of security coordination between Hamas and Egyptian intelligence.
Parallel to this, Qatar and Turkey have been exerting intensive efforts to secure a 'long-term' truce between Hamas and the occupation state [Israel] in return for allowing reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and ending the siege imposed on it. The aim is to push Gaza out of the limelight and focus on the conflict with Iran, removing any 'effective Sunni factor' from the scene that could obstruct the conflict with Iran under the cover of resisting the [Israeli] occupation.
As for the first issue [reconciliation between Egypt and the Brotherhood], which is the more important one, it remains unclear whether there has been any breakthrough so far. What is clear, however, is that Saudi Arabia wants this file to be closed at any price and in any way possible. It is even ready to back Turkey’s position on this issue in particular, given the country’s long borders with Syria and its wide-ranging relations with the Brotherhood, the Nusra Front, and even ISIS. Turkey represents Saudi Arabia's most important gateway for influencing the Syrian file, and hence the conflict with Iran.
There are two problems with this issue:
- The first has to do with the ruling Egyptian regime, which has based its entire legitimacy on toppling the Brotherhood's rule, and has subsequently demonized and legally excluded them from political life, accusing them of terrorism. It is therefore difficult for the Egyptian regime to simply cancel out the most important pillar of its legitimacy via reconciliation with the Brotherhood, unless the latter accept the results of the July 2013 events – i.e., all the consequences of ending Mursi's rule. In other words, the Brotherhood will have to accept Mursi's overthrow, the new president’s [Sissi’s] legitimacy and the new constitution, and agree to take their conflict with the regime back to parliament by being allocated only a specific number of ineffective seats there.
In fact, the Egyptian judiciary’s policy of passing collective death sentences against hundreds of leading Brotherhood figures and members is meant to force the Brotherhood to accept the preconditions for reconciliation as the new Egyptian regime views them. Some of these sentences may actually be carried out so as to ensure that the Brotherhood’s leaders believe that the regime is serious about its demands.
- The second problem has to do with the Brotherhood itself. It is difficult for the Brotherhood – now that it has its own 'Karbala' in [Cairo’s] Rabi'a Square where hundreds, maybe even thousands, of its members were killed to accept reconciliation with the Egyptian regime as long as Sissi remains president. After the 2013 coup, the Brotherhood based its policy on Sissi’s illegitimacy by insisting that Mursi was the legitimate president, and that the path to achieve the aim of upholding this legitimacy was to continue to stage and escalate their popular protests. To accept reconciliation with the present regime would be tantamount to suicide for the Brotherhood, leading to its fragmentation and break up. Some of these breakaway groups will take their cause away from politics; some will find what they are seeking in ISIS's state and the Nusra Front; some will persist with the Brotherhood's current policies; and some may accept reconciliation with the regime.
The important thing is that the Brotherhood will end in its current form, along with its popular base, and its future prospects. Therefore, it is hard to imagine that its leadership would accept reconciliation with the current regime in such circumstances.
The solution to the problem of domesticating the Brotherhood via the gateway of reconciliation has apparently been created – always in Qatar and Turkey – by the letter sent by the Brotherhood's international organization's member Yusif Nadda. Earlier this month, he delivered a message to 'the sincere soldiers in the Egyptian army' in which he said: "If there are those among you who wish to rearrange the cards and comply with this nation's rights and interests, there is no legitimacy that can obstruct or oppose this. There must be many ways of upholding legitimacy that differ from the ways used in other periods.' And he concluded with a verse from the Qur'an saying that 'if they veer towards peace, you also veer towards it and rely on God.'
The essential point in Nadda's message was clear: The army can replace Sissi, after which there will be no problem as to who will rule Egypt or for reconciliation. So, the Brotherhood's leaders and their allies have found what they have been seeking: The problem is not with the Egyptian state, its army, its judiciary, and its institutions. The problem is with Sissi personally. Let the army remove Sissi away from the scene, and it would be possible to fulfill King Salman's desire to end the struggle for power in Egypt, allowing everyone to focus on Iran.
This proposal definitely has its own problems, most importantly, whether there is anyone among the Egyptian army's senior officers who is willing and able to do what Nadda is urging them to do. The second problem, is that a broad section of young Brotherhood members are opposed to reconciliation and view their conflict as one with the entire regime, not just with Sissi personally. In other words, even if Nadda and those who asked him to write his letter do get what they want, the threats of a splits within the Brotherhood’s ranks would remain highly probable.
But the most important thing about Nadda's letter in fact is not its content, but its implications. The Brotherhood’s historic and traditional figures have been open to bending with the wind. They believe that it is this in particular that that has allowed them to survive and expand over tens of years, and that abandoning this policy was what led them to their current situation.
The statements by Hammam Sa'id, the head of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan and Sheikh Rashed al-Ghannouchi, the leader of the Ennahda Movement in Tunisia, may suggest a readiness to compromise. Said blessed [the Saudi-led] Operation Decisive Storm in Yemen and asked Saudi Arabia to extend the ‘Storm’ to Syria, while Ghannouchi expressed his readiness to mediate in favor of reconciliation in Egypt on the grounds that no force should be excluded from participation in government.
"In short, King Salman's policy of pulling all the strings and knotting them together so as to deal with the confrontation with Iran is falling on Brotherhood ears that are both heeding him and supporting his calls. But the events of Rabi'a Square and their consequences remain an obstacle, adding the Egyptian string to this bundle," concludes Yaghi.
3-Israel’s Druze dilemma
Israel is facing a difficult choice between supporting its Druze citizens or maintaining its policy towards the Syrian opposition; it is most likely to opt for the latter, says Randa Haidar in today's Lebanese an-Nahar
Israel's policy in the Syrian Golan Heights is confronting an apparent dilemma, maintains a Lebanese commentator on Israeli affairs. It must either continue with its aid and backing for the extremist Islamist organizations fighting against Assad and Hizbollah's forces, or comply with its Druze citizens' demands to put an end to this aid. It is clear, however, that Israel will opt for the former.
WHAT IS THE TRUTH?: "What is the truth about the Israeli role in the conflict raging in the Golan Heights?" asks Randa Haidar in Friday's Lebanese daily an-Nahar.
To answer this question, we need to view the matter from the perspective of Israeli security interests and the threats they may face in the short- and long-terms.
From this perspective, and after the collapse of the Syrian army, the breakdown of the central state and its shrinking control over its part of the Golan Heights that is now confined to a pocket linking the Heights to Damascus, the immediate danger facing Israel from this area today stems primarily from Hizbollah and its fighters who have been deployed in those areas that are still loyal to Assad's regime. Backed by the Iranians, the party has been trying to establish a military infrastructure similar to that in place in South Lebanon, and to link the Syrian Golan front to the southern Lebanese front.
Based on this assumption, Israel has adopted a policy that is intended to foil this effort, whether by carrying out localized assassinations – as happened earlier this year with the assassination of [Hizbollah military commander] Jihad Mughniyeh along with some other senior officials and a number of Iranian officers, or by establishing channels of communication with the moderate parties of the Syrian opposition that are fighting Assad and Hizbollah in the Golan by offering them humanitarian and medical aid.
As for the long-term threat that lies in wait for Israel, it stems from the extremist jihadi organizations such as ISIS and the Nusra Front, both of which now control wide areas of the Heights on the Syrian side, and both of which are now close to the border fence.
From Israel's perspective, a policy of building bridges to these organizations via friendly local Syrian parties should be sufficient to contain them for the moment, and to exploit the conflict now raging between them and Assad and Hizbollah's forces so as to promote its interests. This is despite Israel's conviction that these jihadi organizations will turn their guns towards it if they manage to control the entire Syrian Heights.
In light of this complex equation, Israel is managing the network of relations it has built with elements of the Syrian opposition that are no longer a secret to anyone. In doing so, it is trying to secure two objectives: To restrain its immediate enemy Hizbollah, and to contain its long-term enemies ISIS and the Nusra Front – all without becoming involved in the conflict in Syria.
However, the Israeli Druze community’s moves in solidarity with their brothers in Syria have confounded Israel's schemes. They have embarrassed it, provoked it, and confronted it with a difficult choice: Either to expresses solidarity with an important sector of its citizens; or to continue to offer aid to those whom the Druze in Israel view as their enemies so as to uphold its security interests.
"It is not difficult to know what Israel will choose. For no matter how important the 'alliance of blood' that ties it to its Druze community may be, it is not more important than its security interests," concludes Haidar.
4-Turkey: the Kurdish factor
The debate over Syria dominates the deliberations over forming a new Turkish coalition, but perceptions of the ‘Kurdish threat’ could yet produce unlikely bedfellows, says Mohammad Noureddin in today's Emirates’ al-Khaleej
Developments in Syria, especially in light of the Kurdish forces’ advances near the Turkish borders, are having a direct impact on the debate over forming a coalition government in Turkey, notes a Lebanese commentator on Turkish affairs. Concern about an alleged 'Kurdish threat' could drive the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) into coalition with the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), which would inflict severe damage on the MHP's image with its own supporters.
INAGURATING A NEW PHASE: "This month’s elections in Turkey ended a phase and inaugurated a new one," writes Mohammad Noureddin in Friday's UAE daily al-Khaleej.
The AKP failed to maintain its exclusive hold on power, and as a result, [President] Recep Tayyip Erdogan failed to achieve his dream of changing the Turkish system from a parliamentary to presidential one. The focus has now shifted onto the likely form that a new coalition government may take.
From what the various parties have said, it is clear that the MHP rejects any form of cooperation with the Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP); each of the two parties has eighty seats in parliament. The result is that opposition has no chance of forming a government coalition, whether the AKP joins it or not. Therefore, all eyes are currently focused on [AKP head and] PM-designate Ahmet Davutoglu to find out what form a coalition may take and the identity of the party that may form its basis.
But more important than all of this are the preconditions necessary for any government coalition in light of the various parties’ declared positions. Right from the start, all the evidence suggested that any government headed by the AKP would be more harmonious if it included the MHP given the overlap between the two parties' popular bases, especially when it comes to their hard-line nationalist ideology. However, such a coalition must satisfy certain conditions, including the MHP’s demands to open up the [AKP government’s] corruption file, prevent Erdogan from intervening in the government's actions, and alter Turkey's policy towards Syria and the region.
Based on what the pro-AKP press is saying, a coalition with the Kurds or the [main opposition] Republican People's Party (CHP) is unlikely, and the more likely prospect is that of a coalition with the MHP. But the real reasons for this stem from the latest developments in the Kurdish question in Syria. The Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which supports the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), has succeeded in defeating ISIS in the town of Tal Abyad. The PYD now controls a border strip with Turkey that is more than 400 kms long. This has led one of the pro-AKP newspapers to declare in its main headline: ‘Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) Much More Dangerous Than ISIS’. The manner in which the parties to the conflict in Syria are viewed has changed radically. ISIS is now seen as less threatening than the Kurds. And this is leading to changes at the heart of the domestic debate in Turkey, at least within the AKP.
The pro-AKP media is waging a war in which it is exerting enormous indirect pressure on the MHP. Before the last parliamentary elections, AKP officials and papers spoke of a Western conspiracy intended to topple the party in order to alter the region's map, isolating Turkey and imprisoning it inside Anatolia. One of this conspiracy’s tools was to change the demographic identity of northern Syria by establishing a Kurdish zone along the borders with Turkey. But the fact of the matter is that this area has always had a Kurdish majority, especially in the area along the Kurdish populated areas of Turkey.
The AKP describes the PYD as a terrorist organization, similar to the PKK. And just as Erdogan refuses to find a radical solution for the problem of Turkey's Kurds and continues to manipulate their cause, he is opposed to any form of self-rule for Syria's Kurds. Erdogan and Davutoglu are pulling the strings of a tribalist Turkish national identity, exaggerating the threat of Kurdish national identity. Their aim is not only to forestall 'the Kurdish threat' and its border strip; it is also, and more importantly, to remain in power, even as partner to another party. In this way, they can block the corruption files from being opened and prolong the AKP's life, allowing it to benefit from the advantages of being in power, in preparation for early elections that they believe bear the hope that the party would return to power alone, even if held one year from now. And the fact is that the MHP's nationalist fanaticism may drive it into the AKP's trap, especially if it offered major portfolios, such as foreign affairs and the economy.
There is no doubt that this will confront the MHP with challenges that far outstrip those posed by the alleged 'Kurdish threat'. These challenges will undermine the party’s credibility and promises, on the basis of which the voters have granted it their vote – namely, in protest against the AKP's policies. And this will have negative impact on the MHP image after the first post-election hurdle is addressed.
Be that as it may, such a coalition will not protect Turkey against the Kurdish threat in Syria. It will not resolve the Kurdish problem in Turkey; in fact, contrary to common belief, it will only exacerbate that problem and take it to more serious levels, especially if nationalist extremism and folly will drive matters towards a major clash.
"In light of the madness that the Middle East has witnessed for more than four years, one cannot dismiss this as mere exaggeration," concludes Noureddin
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