Erdogan in Amman

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Sun 20 August / Aug 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to arrive in Amman on Monday, in his first visit to Jordan, since he arrived in office.

It seems there is a gradual transformation underway in the relationship between Amman and Ankara, following an extended phase of staleness.

Ever since Erdogan arrived in the office of Prime Minister, in 2003, and President in 2014, Jordan and Turkey not seen eye to eye on regional issues. Especially on the Arab Spring and the aftermath.

All these years, Jordan kept a sceptical distance from Turkey and its role in supporting political Islam as the rising regional force.

Contrarily, the Kingdom has almost always sided with the opposite Arab camp, mainly Egypt, Saudi, Emirates, and Kuwait.

More so, the years 2011 through 2015 were severely destructive to bilateral relations between Jordan and Turkey, even though the two worked hard to keep it all under the table.

However, the regional shift, which began around two years ago, pushed the two countries closer. Especially with the arrival of King Salman and the political leaderships associated with the dawn of Riyadh’s new era, and the temporary proximity between Saudi and Turkey.

Notably, this laid the short-lived foundations for a regional alliance, which wasn’t destined to see light, given the implosion of the Qatari Crisis, and the contradictory positions on Syria before that. Not to mention the two’s conflicting views on political Islam movements.

As for Jordan’s relationship with the Turks’, signs of recovery began to surface with the Turkish turn against ISIS, in 2015, up to their incursion in Syria; Operation Euphrates Shield.

Turkey’s interference in Syria’s Northern regions significantly shrunk ISIS’s influence and presence there.

Later, with Turkey’s turn against the Nusra Front, later known as Fath al Sham; once closely affiliated to Ankara, the rift between Jordan and Turkey on Syria began to close.

After the failed coup in Turkey, nearly a year ago, which pushed the Russo-Turkish rapprochement, and realignment in accordance to the Amman-Moscow view, the bridge between us and the Turk’s grew stronger.

Inarguably, Jordan’s view on the Syrian crisis, which prefaced the tripartite Amman Accord, is the catalyst behind the arrival at a strong military ceasefire in the Syrian South.

Of course, this projection was realised via the Astana platform, which was Turkey’s main gateway to Russia.

In the meantime, Jordan’s balanced position on other regional and political issues has helped crystallise a shared view. Particularly in regards to the recent Gulf Crisis, the situation in Iraq, and the Islamists’ participation in the elections, all played a role in the founding of solid, common grounds between the Kingdom and Turkey.

Additionally, Jordan’s diplomatic stand against Israel, in regards to the Jerusalem case, laid another basis from proximity between the two.

Both have shown considerable interest in the Jerusalem case, for all sorts of strategic, political, and symbolic purposes. Jordan and Turkey have joint interests in pressuring Israel, and it is a plus that both have ties with Israel and the United States, at the same time.

Naturally, this gives the alignment of Amman and Ankara significant diplomatic momentum in the face of Israel.

Despite positive variables between the two countries, however, the gap between the two stands due; first, to the dispersing view on the relationship with Emirates and Egypt. Jordan is an ally to both, while Erdogan sees them as rivals.

This was crucial even to the Turkish-Saudi relationship, in spite of Erdogan’s recent visit to Riyadh, it is obvious now that their relationship is retaining staleness, gradually!

Hopefully, the newly found common grounds between Jordan and Turkey is solid enough to inaugurate joint action in the multiple spheres of common, strategic interests.

Moreover, the hope is that a Jordanian-Turkish rapprochement may lead to a great benefits for both, and further reconciliation on regional issues.

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.