Thursday, 16 November, 2017

Turkey and the need for expanding relations with neighbors

By: Abdolreza Ghofrani, Senior international analyst

After the failed coup attempt in Turkey, for a while, the situation in this country was apparently an emergency one, being out of control. However, as some analysts and political circles suggested, when the coup failed, it was considered nothing but the victory of democracy which is quite admirable and the source of delight.

Naturally after any military coup, even if it fails, there is usually a state of emergency and there is extraordinary public insecurity and concerns. So far there have been so many observations and theories for the reasons of this coup, and the people and other states that might have probably involved.

In this short note we will not discuss these matters. Though this author does believe more time and information are needed that the dimensions of this outlawed coup be fully understood and surfaced.

The government of Iran, as the great friendly neighbor of Turkey, was the first to denounce the coup, supporting the legitimate government in Turkey. Iran’s foreign minister visit to Ankara and his talks with Turkish high-ranking officials just a few days ago, focusing on expansion of bilateral cordial relations and stronger ties is a good gesture of Iran’s good intention in one side and the latter’s strong will to continue the bilateral cooperation on the other. Reportedly President Recep Teyyep Erdogan is scheduled to visit Iran shortly and it is a good sign too and Iranian top ranking officials will welcome him.

Certainly the time that the governments of any country can be toppled with military coup has been over and is doomed to fail and the recent one in Turkey ingenuously proved this.

In any bad event, however, there can be good experiences too. In the recent developments in Turkey, it was pretty obvious which country (countries) was her best friend. Naturally, Iran, Turkey and their neighbors are in the same region, therefore they cannot be indifferent to their internal affairs.

Iran and Turkey do have the common viewpoints on this for a long time. As two great Muslim nations Iran and Turkey are politically, economically, socially and culturally, as far as their requirements concerned ,  are interdependent and will be so in the future.

Actually it is in the hard times that mutual requirements of either country openly are indicated. There are no doubts that either Iran or Turkey policy is to have good and amicable relations with all countries of the world (but a few), of course based on respect for their sovereignty and independence.

The recent events in turkey, however indicated, or in better words bluntly proved, that those courtiers being far away from this region, even notwithstanding their probable good will, do not show the required sensitivity as much as those in the region do. The belatedly or even the lack of timely reaction on the part of some courtiers to the outlaw military coup in Turkey is quite assertive. Fortunately the Turks are now pretty conscious and aware of this.

Iran and Turkey neighborhood, willy-nilly, is a geographical unavoidable fact having common religion and culture and of course shared political and economic interests. This is what no one can deny. Being mindful of this, therefore in the present unstable circumstances of the region, it is for these two powers to take advantage of this, given their mutual requirements.

Certainly the amicable and cooperation of two neighborly Muslim countries must be long term and sustained strategic one , not being confined when there is merely a crisis or serious situation. It is also worthy to note that disputes between two closely friendly neighbors is quite natural. However the good neighborly relations require both side to show self –restrain, resolving soberly the issue.

Last but not the least, as two powers in the region they need to take benefits in the context of Economic Cooperation Organization (formerly Regional Cooperation of Development –RCD) for which both were among the main founders four decades ago. Naturally this will tremendously lay much better grounds for strong cooperation. Because, they and other members of this Organization are in this sensitive region being the most qualified and relevant powers to resolve their own problems, and the crises for restoring security and serving the best interests of their people.

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