By Mohammad Mazhari

Israel's greatest fear is rapprochement between Ankara and Tehran: Turkish politician

September 20, 2020 - 23:14
Dogan Bekin likens UAE-Bahrain normalization deals with Israel to ‘cotton thread’

TEHRAN – Dogan Bekin, vice president of the New Welfare Party in Turkey, is of the opinion that Israel's greatest fear is a rapprochement between countries like Turkey and Iran as two regional powers.

Noting that some Western countries want to undermine regional powers and engaged them in “marginal concerns”, Bekin tells the Tehran Times that "the U.S. and Israel's greatest concern is the unity of countries like Turkey and Iran as regional powers." 

Following is the text of the interview:

Q: Last November, Turkey signed an agreement with Libya on maritime borders in the Mediterranean, which was opposed by Greece, Egypt, and Cyprus. Now Ankara criticizes the agreement between Egypt and Greece. What is the main problem between Turkey and these countries?

A: The Exclusive Economic Zone is determined in accordance with Articles 4 and 5 of the London Agreement signed in 1913, article 12 of the Lausanne Treaty, and 76 and 121 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea signed in 1982. 

Therefore, all countries with coasts in the Eastern Mediterranean have legitimate rights arising from these international agreements.
 Here, Greece and the South Cyprus Greek Administration have determined the Exclusive Economic Zone by taking the European Union, France, and the U.S. behind them, and such an economic zone has no international validity. What is at stake here is that the Exclusive Economic Zone agreement of Greece is not in accordance with international law, but it is in accordance with the European Commission and European Parliament's plan.

The Seville Map drawn by Juan Luis Suarez de Vivero has nothing to do with reality. Turkey has a 1,700 km length of the border, which is the longest in the Mediterranean. But Greece pushes Turkey to accept the aforementioned Sevilla Map, which compresses Turkey into a narrow space with 41,000 square kilometers. Here, all parties are required to come together and designate their Exclusive Economic Zones in the Eastern Mediterranean according to the determined articles of international law. In this way, all problems will be eliminated. 

Q: What options does Turkey have against the coalition between the UAE, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Israel in the Mediterranean?
A: Turkey protects her rights arising from international law in the eastern Mediterranean. However, the UAE-Egypt-Saudi-Israel coalition tries to force Turkey to be completely besieged in a narrow space compression project in the Eastern Mediterranean. 
Similarly, in the (Persian) Gulf, the U.S. is trying to besiege Iran by bringing the (Persian) Gulf countries and Israel closer. Finally, Bahrain's similarly coming into this rapprochement is a result of this insidious plan.

Q: Turkey first raised the slogan of "zero problems with neighbors," while today, some observers talk about "nothing but problems." What is your comment?

A: The government's policy of zero problems with neighbors, in fact, was the first step of the U.S. cooperation with countries such as the UAE, Egypt, and Bahrain for Israel's security. When it failed to be realized, creating domestic riots in Syria started, and external interventions have accompanied it.

Previously prime minister of the 54th government, Dr. Nejmeddin Erbakan, touched upon Syria's issue, saying: "If that inference leads to an internal turmoil in Syria, the result will affect Iran and Turkey."
 The opinion of the Welfare Party on this issue is clear: the D-8 Organization to be mobilized urgently and no to intervention by foreign powers to solve the problems of our region.

 Cooperation of powerful countries such as Turkey and Iran can play a greater role. Gangrenous problems in countries such as Syria, Iraq, and Yemen can only be resolved in this way. 

Q: Do you believe that Iran, Turkey, and some other countries in the region can establish a regional alliance?

A: Of course, Turkey, Iran, and other countries may establish regional cooperation. Prime Minister of the 54th Government, Dr. Nejmeddin Erbakan, opened the way for regional cooperation by making his first trip abroad to Iran. Despite different administrations, D-8 countries came together easily and developed cooperation among one another.

In fact, the U.S. and Israel's greatest fear is unity between countries like Turkey and Iran as regional powers. They want these countries to be engaged in marginal concerns. We think that the convergence of the UAE-Bahrain-Israel and the U.S. should be seen within this framework. 

Q: What is the attitude of Turkey toward the presence of foreign powers in the region, especially in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan? 

A: As the Welfare Party, we, with the foreign powers to withdraw from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Especially, while the USA expressed that it would bring freedom, peace, and democracy to Iraq and Afghanistan, it only brought tears and blood to these countries.

 The USA has no eternal friend and no eternal enemy. Only its interests come first. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met in Qatar's capital Doha with Mohammad Nabi Omari, who was held in Guantanamo for 12 years. This is important in terms of revealing the true face of the USA to us. Suppose the USA can establish friendly cooperation today with those whom it identified as terrorists yesterday. In that case, this must be an issue that Muslims should take into account very well.

Q: What do you think of the normalization agreement between the UAE and Israel?

A: Unfortunately, the rulers of countries like the UAE and Bahrain have entered into a normalization agreement with Israel not for the benefit of their people but for the interests of themselves and their seats.
 Israel is trying to besiege Iran in the Persian Gulf by using these countries step by step. It is a fact that these accords cannot last long. These deals are weak and fragile, like cotton thread. They want Turkey and Iran not to come together in order to pass the absolute solution-oriented policies for the region.

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