FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters during a ceremony marking the third anniversary of the attempted coup at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, Turkey, July 15, 2019. REUTERS/Murad Sezer/File Photo
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addresses his supporters during a ceremony marking the third anniversary of the attempted coup on July 15, 2016. Reuters/Murad Sezer

The fate of Erdogan's Turkey hangs on its relations with the US and Russia



The current phase of Turkey's relations with the US and other Nato members is extremely delicate. Washington has now removed Turkey from the F-35 fighter jet program in response to Ankara completing its purchase of the Russian-made S-400 missile defence system, which could be used to acquire technological intelligence on Nato systems, including the F-35 itself.

President Donald Trump recently said he understood his Turkish counterpart's position, and blamed his predecessor Barack Obama for the crisis, indicating that the US may relent before deciding to slap sanctions on Turkey as desired by both sides of Congress.

Jens Stoltenberg, Nato secretary general, meanwhile, rushed to dismiss any talk of expelling Turkey from Nato, describing the nation as an important ally with whom co-operation goes deeper than the F-35 issue, albeit he did not downplay the issue of Ankara's acquisition of the S-400 system.

These relatively flexible positions do not mean that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has succeeded in his attempt to bring in Russia into the heart of the Nato alliance without recriminations. Indeed, the strategic response Mr Trump is choreographing against Mr Erdogan's actions will include Russian, Kurdish, Syrian, and Iraqi rhythms.

There will also be internal Turkish elements that could end up with the ousting of Mr Erdogan, either through the army or through the elections. That is, if he continues to press ahead with arrogant plans that resemble Iran's expansionist projects in the Arab world, such as his Muslim Brotherhood project, which has antagonised many countries in the region. In other words, the S-400 crisis is much bigger than it seems, and is laden with geopolitical, commercial, and security implications.

Turkey has already been sanctioned by being removed from the F-35 program as a result of Mr Erdogan's dogged insistence on going ahead with the S-400 deal. Ankara will also come under economic sanctions approved by Congress that range from reducing US banking loans to Turkish entities to harsher measures that could collapse the Turkish economy – for example if it is cut off completely from the US financial system.

Interestingly, all Nato members are entitled to access the defence systems of other member states. This means the US still comes out on top because it will be able to study the S-400 system's Russian technology now that Turkey has it.

So why did Russia sell the system if it knew it could fall into Nato hands? Sources say that the Russian military industrial complex had objected to the sale two years ago, but political and commercial considerations swayed the final decision. Mr Putin hopes that developments could lead Turkey to exit or be expelled from Nato. In commercial terms, Moscow wants to use the S-400 deal with Turkey as a dry run to sell the platform to India and possibly Arab Gulf countries and beyond.

The US is not rushing to action on the complex Turkish crisis because it does not consider itself the losing party, according to sources familiar with the thinking of the Trump administration. It also has many options, including sanctions.

Mr Erdogan's Turkey will also fall under European scrutiny. There is talk in Brussels, Nato's headquarters, that Ankara's membership in a number of Nato programmes can be frozen. But Turkey's membership of the alliance itself is not currently at risk. This is not only because Turkey's Nato membership is of vital importance, but because removing it from the alliance would serve the Russian agenda.

The US, in other words, will not allow this, and will not allow the Astana co-operation in Syria to become a Russian-Turkish-Iranian alliance. This may explain Mr Trump's flexibility and accommodation, and his aversion to swift recrimination and sanctions. He seems to prefer a gradual response, beginning with blocking the sale of US hardware to Turkey, sanctions on Turkish arms manufacturers and exporters, and freezing the assets of Turkish entities that had been part of the F-35 development programme. Mr Trump feels he still needs Turkey in the Nato alliance, and hopes to gain its co-operation in the region, especially in Syria. He is also probably keen to learn the secrets of the S-400 system and perhaps, later even the S-500 system.

But Mr Trump may not forgive Mr Erdogan's defiance and the embarrassment he has caused him, domestically and internationally. Some observers say the Turkish military establishment could take matters into its own hands if Mr Erdogan goes too far in compromising Turkey's Nato credentials, regardless of how in control he has appeared to be since the failed coup attempt against him. Some say the US does not need to rush to get rid of Mr Erdogan via a military coup, because he is likely to be ousted in the elections in three years’ time. Many now believe that strong leaders in his party and the opposition are likely to emerge and challenge him and his project to turn Turkey from a secular state to a Muslim Brotherhood vanguard in the region.

With Mr Erdogan's fall, the Muslim Brotherhood project, which he is still trying to market in Libya and Sudan, despite its dismal failure in Egypt, would be buried, once and for all. Mr Erdogan is also still meddling in Gulf affairs, especially in Saudi Arabia, in a manner that has set off alarm bells in Washington.

The Kurdish issue is also important to Washington, despite its failed promises to the Kurds. Recent Turkish air strikes in Iraq, some 160 km deep into Iraqi territory against PKK positions, are noteworthy. The strikes were preceded by the assassination of the Turkish vice consul in Erbil, which triggered vows of retaliation in Ankara. In Syria, Turkey continues to intervene against Kurdish forces, and to engage the Syrian regime in various ways in line with Russian demands.

All this means that US-Turkish relations are complex and multi-layered.

Today, the main issues preoccupying the American president are the developments in the Gulf and the threats to international navigation there. The US is pushing for a maritime task force to address Iranian provocations.

Sources familiar with decision-making in Tehran say Tehran intends to go beyond seizing foreign oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz or Bab Al Mandeb, and is gearing up for a naval show of force in a "very personal" way. "They are cooking something, but it's not yet clear what … something more dangerous than oil tankers and drones," one said. The sources stressed that Iran has run out of patience vis-a-vis US sanctions, which are expected to intensify, and could escalate further after next week.

The Iranian priority will dictate the rhythm of Washington's measures against Turkey. After the US president announced an American warship had shut down an Iranian drone, he said that the US reserves the right to defend its facilities and interests. In light of these mutual threats and intentions, the US-Iranian confrontation could thus be about to cross a dangerous military threshold, but time alone will tell.

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UAE athletes heading to Paris 2024

Equestrian
Abdullah Humaid Al Muhairi, Abdullah Al Marri, Omar Al Marzooqi, Salem Al Suwaidi, and Ali Al Karbi (four to be selected).


Judo
Men: Narmandakh Bayanmunkh (66kg), Nugzari Tatalashvili (81kg), Aram Grigorian (90kg), Dzhafar Kostoev (100kg), Magomedomar Magomedomarov (+100kg); women's Khorloodoi Bishrelt (52kg).


Cycling
Safia Al Sayegh (women's road race).

Swimming
Men: Yousef Rashid Al Matroushi (100m freestyle); women: Maha Abdullah Al Shehi (200m freestyle).

Athletics
Maryam Mohammed Al Farsi (women's 100 metres).

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

Match info

Champions League quarter-final, first leg

Liverpool v Porto, Tuesday, 11pm (UAE)

Matches can be watched on BeIN Sports

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Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

Company Profile

Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
Based: Dubai
Sector: Microfinance
Current number of staff: 16
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Family offices

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Family: He is the youngest of five brothers, of whom two are dentists. 

Celebrities he worked on: Fabio Canavaro, Lojain Omran, RedOne, Saber Al Rabai.

Where he works: Liberty Dental Clinic 

FIXTURES

Saturday
5.30pm: Shabab Al Ahli v Al Wahda
5.30pm: Khorfakkan v Baniyas
8.15pm: Hatta v Ajman
8.15pm: Sharjah v Al Ain
Sunday
5.30pm: Kalba v Al Jazira
5.30pm: Fujairah v Al Dhafra
8.15pm: Al Nasr v Al Wasl

GOODBYE JULIA

Director: Mohamed Kordofani

Starring: Siran Riak, Eiman Yousif, Nazar Goma

Rating: 5/5

Result

6.30pm: Al Maktoum Challenge Round-3 – Group 1 (PA) $65,000 (Dirt) 2,000m; Winner: Brraq, Ryan Curatolo (jockey), Jean-Claude Pecout (trainer)

7.05pm: Handicap (TB) $65,000 (Turf) 1,800m; Winner: Bright Melody, James Doyle, Charlie Appleby

7.40pm: Meydan Classic – Listed (TB) $88,000 (T) 1,600m; Winner: Naval Crown, Mickael Barzalona, Charlie Appleby

8.15pm: Nad Al Sheba Trophy – Group 3 (TB) $195,000 (T) 2,810m; Winner: Volcanic Sky, Frankie Dettori, Saeed bin Suroor

8.50pm: Dubai Millennium Stakes – Group 3 (TB) $130,000 (T) 2,000m; Winner: Star Safari, William Buick, Charlie Appleby

9.25pm: Meydan Challenge – Listed Handicap (TB) $88,000 (T) 1,400m; Winner: Zainhom, Dane O’Neill, Musabah Al Muhairi

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  • Do not submit your application through the Easy Apply button on LinkedIn. Employers receive between 600 and 800 replies for each job advert on the platform. If you are the right fit for a job, connect to a relevant person in the company on LinkedIn and send them a direct message.
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Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Ronaldo's record at Man Utd

Seasons 2003/04 - 2008/09

Appearances 230

Goals 115

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Director:Anthony Hayes

Stars:Zaf Efron, Anthony Hayes

Rating:3/5

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
Should late investors consider cryptocurrencies?

Wealth managers recommend late investors to have a balanced portfolio that typically includes traditional assets such as cash, government and corporate bonds, equities, commodities and commercial property.

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He adds that if a person is interested in owning a business or growing a property portfolio to increase their retirement income, this can be encouraged provided they keep in mind the overall risk profile of these assets.

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

Asia Cup 2018 Qualifier

Sunday's results:

  • UAE beat Malaysia by eight wickets
  • Nepal beat Singapore by four wickets
  • Oman v Hong Kong, no result

Tuesday fixtures:

  • Malaysia v Singapore
  • UAE v Oman
  • Nepal v Hong Kong
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Starring: Hani Razmzi, Maya Nasir and Hassan Hosny

Four stars

TEACHERS' PAY - WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Pay varies significantly depending on the school, its rating and the curriculum. Here's a rough guide as of January 2021:

- top end schools tend to pay Dh16,000-17,000 a month - plus a monthly housing allowance of up to Dh6,000. These tend to be British curriculum schools rated 'outstanding' or 'very good', followed by American schools

- average salary across curriculums and skill levels is about Dh10,000, recruiters say

- it is becoming more common for schools to provide accommodation, sometimes in an apartment block with other teachers, rather than hand teachers a cash housing allowance

- some strong performing schools have cut back on salaries since the pandemic began, sometimes offering Dh16,000 including the housing allowance, which reflects the slump in rental costs, and sheer demand for jobs

- maths and science teachers are most in demand and some schools will pay up to Dh3,000 more than other teachers in recognition of their technical skills

- at the other end of the market, teachers in some Indian schools, where fees are lower and competition among applicants is intense, can be paid as low as Dh3,000 per month

- in Indian schools, it has also become common for teachers to share residential accommodation, living in a block with colleagues

Correspondents

By Tim Murphy

(Grove Press)

Results

5pm: Maiden (PA) Dh80,000 (Turf) 1,600m; Winner: Aahid Al Khalediah II, Pat Cosgrave (jockey), Helal Al Alawi (trainer)

5.30pm: Handicap (PA) Dh80,000 (T) 2,200m; Winner: Whistle, Harry Bentley, Abdallah Al Hammadi

6pm: Wathba Stallions Cup - Maiden (PA) Dh70,000 (T) 1,600m; Winner: Alsaied, Szczepan Mazur, Ibrahim Al Hadhrami

6.30pm: Emirates Fillies Classic – Prestige (PA) Dh100,000 (T) 1,600m; Winner: Mumayaza, Antonio Fresu, Eric Lemartinel

7pm: Emirates Colts Classic – Prestige (PA) Dh100,000 (T) 1,600m; Winner: Hameem, Adrie de Vries, Abdallah Al Hammadi

7.30pm: President’s Cup – Group 1 (PA) Dh2,500,000 (T) 2,200m; Winner: Somoud, Richard Mullen, Jean de Roualle

8pm: President’s Cup – Listed (TB) Dh380,000 (T) 1,400m; Winner: Medahim, Richard Mullen, Satish Seemar

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Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices


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