26.11.2022 Author: Valery Kulikov

What is behind the destabilization in Egypt, Iran, Turkey?

In 2011, over a dozen states in the Arab world were hit by a West-instigated wave of protest movements in the name of reshaping the political map of the world and redistributing the region’s natural wealth. At that time, color revolutions raged in Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen, civil wars destabilized the situation in Libya and Syria, demonstrations took place in Bahrain and mass unrest in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan and Morocco. The United Nations estimates that this struggle by the collective West for “democratic values,” which in actuality become a drain on economic resources, has cost the Middle East alone over $600 billion.

Generally, these protests followed a similar pattern: protesters took to the streets and forced the incumbent authorities to step down. Although such mass street protests were usually peaceful in the beginning, it was almost never possible to avoid acts of violence. The manipulators of these actions immediately tried to use the inevitable “holy martyrs” for their own dirty purposes, turning the focus of the demonstrations against representatives of law enforcement agencies and the country’s authorities, thus further undermining the situation in the country. It was clear to everyone that such street actions and mass protests were virtually impossible without an “organizer.”

The author of the methodology of mass protests and color revolutions is considered by many to be the American Gene Sharp, who wrote the book “From Dictatorship to Democracy” in 1993. And his “work” has long been a “guide to action” for various coup organizers, especially from the US.

Now, after the events of 2011, it is easy to see another wave of such events in the Middle East organized by “external forces.”

In Egypt, for example, members of radical groups have recently become active on social media, calling for mass unrest and the overthrow of the current government. They post calls for Egyptians to take to the streets, especially using the COP27 climate summit taking away all the attention of the authorities.

Preparations for such a development were started by “external forces” in advance, involving journalists, parties and movements in opposition to the authorities, most of whom have been arrested in Egypt in recent months for such activities. However, many of them were recently released under the pressure of ultimatums from Washington that the US could suspend arms supplies to the Egyptian army until the opposition members were released from prisons. To understand the “effectiveness” of such an ultimatum, it would suffice to recall that Egypt annually receives about $1.5 billion in financial aid from the US to pay for military expenses, and the Egyptian authorities cannot afford to lose this “support.” And to “save face,” Cairo set up a “presidential pardon committee” which granted amnesty to hundreds of opposition-minded people.

The protest wave is also being actively promoted by the West in Iran, where mass unrest has not ceased for two months. It all started with a demand by protesters in the streets to investigate the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by the vice squad for wearing the hijab improperly. Then political slogans became louder and louder, ranging from greater rights for Iranian Kurds, Baluchis and Azeris, to the resignation of President Ebrahim Raisi, the change from the country’s religious Islamic regime to a secular one. President Raisi, who was at the annual UN General Assembly meeting in New York when the protests began, accused the United States of inciting Iranians to protest and called on Washington to deal with its own problems instead of meddling in other countries’ affairs.

In Turkey, “external forces” have also attempted to destabilize the situation by carrying out a series of terrorist attacks, the most high-profile of which was the November 13 bombing on Istanbul’s most crowded tourist street. Numerous observers, and indeed a number of representatives of the Turkish authorities, do not rule out that the US is behind the attacks, which are destabilizing the situation to prevent Recep Erdoğan from being re-elected as president. After all, Ankara’s policies in recent years have notoriously been met with disapproval in Washington. It is especially true of Erdoğan’s desire to create a new balance of power in a region where previously the main players were the US and Israel whose only opponent was Iran with a number of allies in Palestine, Lebanon and Syria. And the US does not forget that at one time the US authorities accepted Turkey into NATO in order to use it as a real threat to the interests of the USSR and then Russia from the south and Transcaucasia, to allow US and NATO ships to enter the Black Sea waters unimpeded and to establish their own rules in the region. However, Erdoğan has set a clear course not only to blatantly undermine US and Western hegemony, but also to strengthen relations with Russia, through which he hopes to strengthen Turkey’s own position and turn it into a major energy and food hub.

Therefore, the main objective with regard to Turkey has been defined by the US through its allies as preventing Erdoğan’s re-election in 2023, for which Washington has used various well-known “tools.” This includes the use of extremist militias specially trained by US intelligence agencies for this purpose. In this case, these were fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which, according to Turkish authorities, was behind the attack in Istanbul and may have received the “go-ahead” to carry it out from its Western sponsors.

That is why Turkey did not accept the condolences of the United States after the terrorist attack on November 13, saying via its Minister of Interior Süleyman Soylu that it did not believe in the sincerity of the United States, which had been among the first to express condolences to Turkey: “We do not accept, and reject the condolences of the US Embassy. Its statement is like a murderer being first to show up at a crime scene.” For the same reason, the Turkish Air Force struck a US training center for fighters of the Kurdish Democratic Syrian Forces in Al-Hasakah on November 21.

In all the recent destabilization activities in Egypt, Iran and Turkey, one thing is clear: these hostile activities began to emerge after these countries deepened and developed relations with Russia, against which the current Russophobic establishment in the West has launched an undeclared war. And not only on Ukrainian soil, but also internationally, at various platforms and in the trade and economic sphere. And now they got to destabilizing the situation in countries that support Moscow’s policies.

Valery Kulikov, political expert, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.