Why Iran stood with Erdogan

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses during an attempted coup in Istanbul, Turkey July16, 2016. REUTERS/Huseyin Aldemir TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTSI88G

By Ali Hashem

As July 15 was coming to an end in Tehran, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was on the phone with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu, whose government was under the threat of being overthrown by a military coup. Meanwhile, Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), was on another line with security officials in Ankara. All the while, Qasem Soleimani, the commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ Quds Force, Iran’s regional military arm, was busy pursuing and reviewing various scenarios that might emerge.

“It’s not a secret anymore,” an Iranian official told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “Zarif, Shamkhani and Soleimani were executing higher orders. The whole establishment was too concerned. Turkey is a neighboring state. President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan and his government are strong partners of Iran. Our nations enjoy strong brotherly ties, so it’s the least we can do to show solidarity and try to offer any help they might need in such critical times.”

Within hours after the coup attempt began late July 15, the SNSC convened to discuss developments in Turkey. Following the meeting, which was chaired by President Hassan Rouhani, Shamkhani publicly condemned the coup attempt, telling local media outlets, “We support Turkey’s legal government and oppose any type of coup — either [initiated] domestically or supported by foreign sides.” Shamkhani said, “What determined the fate of developments in Turkey were the will and presence of the [Turkish] nation and the vigilance of political parties, whose contribution thwarted this coup. Shamkhani concluded, “Our stance is not exclusive to Turkey either. We have pursued the same stance in Syria too. Our position toward all regional countries is that we always prefer people’s votes [to decide governments] rather than tribal, sectarian and hereditary governments, and this means democracy.”

“A coup in Turkey isn’t something Iran can tolerate,” another Iranian politician told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “It’s true that there are differences over Syria, and sometimes in Iraq. Yet the fact is that there is no direct problem between Iran and Turkey; on the contrary, [bilateral] relations are always advancing for the better. Besides, Iran is opposed to any kind of change by force, and especially when the government [in question] is democratically elected.” The Iranian politician added, “The most important thing is that this experience [the coup attempt] might be an opportunity for Mr. Erdogan to understand the situation in neighboring Syria.”

Indeed, multiple Iranian officials, including Ali Akbar Velayati — foreign policy adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — brought up Syria in their condemnation of the coup attempt in Turkey. While condemning the coup, Velayati — a former foreign minister — said he hopes “the Turkish government will respect the views and votes of the Syrian people and allow them to decide their own government.” It was a clear message from Iran to Turkey regarding Syria and the future of the struggle in the region. For five years now, Iranian officials have on repeated occasions stated that they have been trying to engage the Turks on a path to address the situation in Syria, and while unsuccessful, have never given up on this approach.

But why is Iran so concerned about the coup attempt in Turkey?

“The stability of the region would have been seriously threatened if the coup attempt had succeeded. Turkey is a major player. Besides, there is the fear that such a move might trigger internal strife,” an Iranian official told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. He explained that given the past five bloody years in the region, any such development in Turkey “will shake the whole region” in addition to “Europe, Iran and the Caucasus.” The Iranian official added, “Besides the already shaken Arab countries, what about the [various] ethnic groups within Turkey? Has anyone thought about what they might do?”

Some conservative figures and journalists in Tehran have shown a different reaction toward development in Turkey, influenced mainly by the crisis in Syria.

“It was clear that there’s a gap between the street and the government with respect to what was going on in Turkey,” a conservative Iranian political figure told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. Many whose understanding of the region is influenced by the war in Syria think the fall of Erdogan would have been a positive development — not only in Iran but also in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. In this vein, the Iranian political source said that many within this camp “were surprised to see the Iranian government reacting before any other government in the whole world and backing the legitimate [Turkish] government.”

It is important to bear in mind the other important reasons why Iran sees the security and stability of Turkey as pivotal to its own national security. With an Islamic-oriented government in power in Ankara, bilateral relations have improved in the past decade, paving the way for common ground despite differences over regional developments. The latter has been possible thanks to Iranian-Turkish proximity in terms of grander objectives and also similarities in their ways of thinking. Indeed, at the height of the nuclear-related sanctions on Iran, Turkey played a vital role in easing the pressure on its eastern neighbor. Erdogan certainly paid the price for the holes he was accused of creating in the web of sanctions imposed on Iran through what came to be known as the “gold-for-oil scheme” — even while economic ties between the two countries greatly expanded in the sanctions era. With the implementation of the nuclear deal, the two countries now plan to triple their trade volume to $30 billion.

So, beside its public condemnations, did Iran play a role in directly thwarting the coup? Did it, for instance, share intelligence that helped Erdogan preserve his reign? Al-Monitor put forward this question to a senior Iranian official who was in direct contact with Turkish officials during the hours of the coup attempt. His answer was short but to the point: “No.”

Another Iranian official saw parallels between the successful coup against Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953 and this year’s coup attempt in Turkey. The official told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “What we know is that this move was triggered by foreign hands. We went through the same in the past, and because Mr. Erdogan is today looking forward to playing a better role in the region, they want him down.” The Iranian official said, “There was a message that was conveyed to Turkish security officials: Don’t leave the streets. This coup might be made up of several waves; it happened in Iran in 1953. When the first coup failed, they had another one ready — and they succeeded.”

38 Comments on "Why Iran stood with Erdogan"

  1. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    This is nicely put. !
    http://canadianpharmacymim.com/
    pharmacy without dr prescriptions
    canadian drugs
    northwestpharmacy
    [url=https://nicktambone.com//]aarp approved canadian online pharmacies[/url]

  2. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Whoa all kinds of fantastic info!
    http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/
    trust pharmacy canada
    north west pharmacy canada
    canadian drugstore reviews
    [url=http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com//]canada pharmaceutical online ordering[/url]

  3. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Valuable tips. Regards!
    https://nicktambone.com/
    prescription drugs without doctor approval
    canadian cialis
    no prescription pharmacies
    [url=http://talahicc.com//]canadianpharmacy[/url]

  4. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You actually explained it terrifically.
    http://canadianpharmacyntx.com/
    canadian prescriptions
    canadian pharmacies that ship to us
    canadian prescription
    [url=http://talahicc.com//]canada pharmacy online[/url]

  5. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Thanks, Ample advice.

    http://talahicc.com/
    pharmacy tech
    canadian pharcharmy
    canadian pharmacies that are legit
    [url=https://nicktambone.com//]canada pharmaceuticals online[/url]

  6. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Superb material. Cheers!
    http://canadianpharmacymim.com/
    canadian drug
    northwest pharmacy
    online drugs
    [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com//]northwestpharmacy[/url]

  7. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Very good write ups, Thanks!
    http://canadianpharmacysilo.com/
    legitimate canadian mail order pharmacies
    trust pharmacy canada
    prescription pricing
    [url=http://canadianpharmacyntx.com//]canadian pharcharmy[/url]

  8. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Thank you. Useful stuff!
    http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/
    canada meds
    canada drugs
    canadian cialis
    [url=http://talahicc.com//]canada online pharmacies[/url]

  9. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Many thanks. I appreciate this.
    http://canadianonlinepharmacynnm.com/
    canadian pharmacy without prescription
    canada drug
    northwest pharmacy canada
    [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com//]canadian pharmacies[/url]

  10. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You actually suggested this adequately!
    http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/
    online pharmacies no prescription
    canadian pharmacies online
    web medical information
    [url=https://nicktambone.com//]canadian pharmacies[/url]

  11. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You made your point quite nicely!!
    http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/
    online pharmacy without a prescription
    northwest pharmacy
    cialis online
    [url=http://canadianonlinepharmacynnm.com//]global pharmacy canada[/url]

  12. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You actually revealed this wonderfully.
    https://nicktambone.com/
    rx price comparison
    canadian cialis
    canadian online pharmacy
    [url=http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com//]mexican pharmacies shipping to usa[/url]

  13. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Truly quite a lot of amazing data!
    http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/
    canadian mail order pharmacies
    canadian cialis
    canada meds
    [url=http://canadianpharmacymim.com//]canadian pharcharmy[/url]

  14. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Thanks! Excellent information.
    http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/
    global pharmacy canada
    canadian pharmacies-24h
    best online canadian pharcharmy
    [url=http://canadianonlinepharmacynnm.com//]mexican pharmacies shipping to usa[/url]

  15. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Terrific info. Cheers!
    http://canadianpharmacyntx.com/
    canadianpharmacy
    canadian pharmacies
    discount prescription drugs online
    [url=https://nicktambone.com//]canadian pharmacies-24h[/url]

  16. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    With thanks! I value this.
    http://canadianpharmacymim.com/
    northwest pharmacy
    canada drug
    online pharmacy canada
    [url=http://talahicc.com//]aarp approved canadian online pharmacies[/url]

  17. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Many thanks! Quite a lot of forum posts.

    http://canadianpharmacysilo.com/
    northwestpharmacy
    canada drug
    discount pharmaceuticals
    [url=http://talahicc.com//]canadian pharmacy[/url]

  18. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    With thanks! An abundance of info.

    http://canadianpharmacymim.com/
    canada drugs pharmacy
    canadian pharmacies-24h
    online discount pharmacy
    [url=http://canadianonlinepharmacynnm.com//]canada drugs online[/url]

  19. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Helpful tips. Regards.
    http://talahicc.com/
    canadian online pharmacies prescription drugs
    canada pharmaceuticals online
    canadian pharmacy uk delivery
    [url=http://canadianpharmacyntx.com//]northwest pharmacy[/url]

  20. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Cheers! I value it.
    http://talahicc.com/
    drugs without prescription
    northwest pharmacy
    canadian pharcharmy online
    [url=http://canadianonlinepharmacynnm.com//]online pharmacies of canada[/url]

  21. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Fantastic forum posts. Many thanks!
    http://talahicc.com/
    pharmacy prices
    north west pharmacy canada
    northwestpharmacy
    [url=http://canadianpharmacymim.com//]canadian viagra[/url]

  22. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You actually suggested that wonderfully!
    http://canadianpharmacyntx.com/
    canadian drugs
    aarp approved canadian online pharmacies
    buying drugs canada
    [url=http://canadianonlinepharmacynnm.com//]canadian pharcharmy[/url]

  23. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Amazing a lot of valuable tips!
    http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/
    cialis online
    online pharmacies canada
    prescription drug price comparison
    [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com//]canadian pharmacies without an rx[/url]

  24. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Thank you! Loads of posts!

    https://nicktambone.com/
    pharmacy online store
    northwestpharmacy
    mexican pharmacy online medications
    [url=http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com//]canada pharmaceutical online ordering[/url]

  25. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Thanks a lot, I value it!
    http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/
    top rated canadian pharmacies online
    northwestpharmacy
    canadian pharmacies top best
    [url=http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com//]canada pharmacy[/url]

  26. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You actually revealed that perfectly.
    http://talahicc.com/
    buying prescription drugs canada
    trust pharmacy canada
    compare rx prices
    [url=http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com//]canada pharmacy online[/url]

  27. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You have made the point.
    http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/
    canada pharmacies
    canada pharmaceutical online ordering
    no prescription pharmacy
    [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com//]canadianpharmacy[/url]

  28. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You actually reported it well!
    http://canadianpharmacymim.com/
    prescription drugs online without
    canadian pharmacies
    buy online prescription drugs
    [url=http://canadianonlinepharmacynnm.com//]canadian pharmacy[/url]

  29. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You said it nicely..
    http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/
    canadian family pharmacy
    online pharmacies canada
    best online pharmacy
    [url=http://canadianonlinepharmacynnm.com//]mexican pharmacies shipping to usa[/url]

  30. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Regards, Useful stuff.
    http://talahicc.com/
    prescription drugs without doctor approval
    global pharmacy canada
    pharmacy price compare
    [url=http://canadianonlinepharmacynnm.com//]london drugs canada[/url]

  31. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Seriously a lot of very good facts.
    http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com/
    northwest pharmacy
    canadian pharcharmy
    pharmacy prices
    [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com//]canadian pharmacies without an rx[/url]

  32. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    You have made the point!
    http://talahicc.com/
    medication costs
    canadian online pharmacies
    canadian pharmacy no prescription
    [url=http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com//]top rated canadian pharmacies online[/url]

  33. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Cheers! Good stuff.
    http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com/
    24 hour pharmacy
    canada drugs online
    canadian online pharmacies
    [url=http://canadianpharmacyntx.com//]canadian pharmacies that ship to us[/url]

  34. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Nicely put. Thanks a lot.
    https://nicktambone.com/
    pharmacy price compare
    canada pharmacy
    drug prices comparison
    [url=http://canadianonlinepharmacynnm.com//]canada drugs[/url]

  35. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Really loads of superb data.
    http://canadianpharmacymim.com/
    mexican pharmacy online
    canadian drugs
    prescription drugs online without doctor
    [url=http://canadianpharmaciesnnm.com//]canada drugs online[/url]

  36. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Wonderful forum posts. Kudos.
    http://canadianpharmacysilo.com/
    canadian drug stores online
    canadian pharmacies without an rx
    buy prescription drugs from canada
    [url=http://canadianpharmacysilo.com//]canadian cialis[/url]

  37. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Many thanks. Numerous material.

    http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com/
    no prescription pharmacy
    canadian pharmacies without an rx
    no prior prescription required pharmacy
    [url=http://canadianpharmaciescubarx.com//]canadian pharmacies-24h[/url]

  38. Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    Nicely put. Cheers.
    http://canadianonlinepharmacynnm.com
    prescription drug cost
    mexican pharmacies shipping to usa
    compare prescription prices
    [url=http://www.canadianpharmacymsn.com]online pharmacies of canada[/url]

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*