The Middle East has always been the target of certain factions due to its geopolitical significance and rich underground sources.
These circles have stirred disorder in the region by driving a wedge between the regional countries. Against all odds, Turkey together with Iran and Russia dealt a strong blow to those who tried to hatch plot to fragment this league. This alliance had the privilege to take the first practical steps on the way to a peaceful solution in Syria since civil war broke out. Yet, as soon as the effect of this union was clear, these provocateurs imposed pressure in many ways to disband this nexus. These countries bear grave responsibility to bring stability to the region.
For a long time, these agitators attempted to execute several schemes to damage the ties between Turkey and Russia. However, recently both countries did not allow any kind of fracture to splinter their on-going affairs taking lesson from the damage done to both peoples during the time of the downing of the jet crisis. Recently, these provocateurs have tried to derail the relations between Iran and Turkey. Regardless of being aware of the burden and responsibility to bring peace to the region, these two strong countries have repelled such attempts. They will probably do so for current and future events; not only because they are two regional countries that need each other in many aspects but also because they have a lengthy history of brotherhood and friendship dating back to a thousand years. Presidents Rouhani and Erdogan's meeting in Pakistan on the sidelines of Economic Cooperation Organization summit was an exemplary move in which both leaders used constructive rhetoric to improve their ties. While Rouhani stated “Resolving political differences [between Iran and Turkey] can lead to regional stability,” Erdogan focused on ending the bloodshed, saying, "Let us extinguish the flames of fitna".
When we examine the history of both countries, we see that the existence of Turks in Iran dates back long before the Oghuz migration. Thanks to these mass movements, the Turkish population became a significant part of the demographics of Iran making us true brothers. With the effects of this intermingling, the Turkish language endorsed many Farsi words and Iranian culture had a profound impact upon Turkish culture. On the other hand, Turkish became the second spoken language in Iran. Additionally, there were numerous interactions between them concerning the states’ administrative systems, arts and science.
A very important accord to determine the border between the Ottomans and Safavids was signed in 1639. The 570-kilometer border that was determined during the time of the treaty of Qasr-e Shirin is still valid today. This border is famous because it is the only border that has stayed unchanged for 377 years and it is, at the same time, the only border in the Middle East that was not drawn by the imperialist powers. This accord is frequently stated as a historical document to recall how these two countries have a long-term relationship based on mutual respect. Despite the fact that there were some conflicts between the Ottomans and Iranians throughout the course of history, they penned many peace treaties aside from the Qasr-e Shirin and enjoyed political and military relations. 1555 Peace of Amasya, 1590 The Treaty of Constantinople, also known as Treaty of Ferhad Pasha, 1612 Treaty of Nasuh Pasha, 1618 Treaty of Serav, to name only a few.
Turkey and Iran should be mindful of this rich, common history all the time and determine their foreign policy accordingly. Their relationship should be kept intact even though there might be government changes in one of them. Their ties are beyond politics. History has proven this friendship and hopefully time will show the same. They should both feel blessed they are neighbors. It is a great favor for Turkey to have Iran on its border as a devout Muslim country and vice versa. Believing in the same God and following the same faith are the most important factors to draw two countries together as a family. Leaders from both sides have declared their identities as Muslims not differentiating that they are Sunni or Shia on many occasions in which they shared.
They both have very powerful armies and their union would be a great deterrence for those trying to fuel tension in the region. They can also develop a strategy on cooperating in terms of energy and trade. This collaboration will definitely be very fruitful to increase the living standards of both peoples. Turkey can play an important intermediary role to connect Iran to Europe since Iran is new in the international arena after some of their sanctions were lifted. Iran had been having difficult times due to these sanctions and when they were lifted, they found relief. With the support of Turkey, Iran would get a huge economic boost. It would give both Turkey and Iran a huge economic relief.
It would be a great mistake to fall into the erroneous idea of sectarian division in the region. No Muslim should let anyone speak against any sects. There are millions of Shias living in Turkey and at least fifteen million Shia Azeri Turks inhabit in Iran. The Shia sect is a beauty that all the Muslims should be proud of and those endorsing this sect are all very dear and blessed people. When both countries like each other, they will certainly witness abundance. To accelerate the steps in forming this unity, leaders from both countries should make frequent visits to one another, giving positive messages of unity and cooperation. Businessmen and civilians should follow. Carrying out joint projects on many levels will help the links grow. Lifting visa procedures between these countries will also be an important achievement in this approach. This unity will be sufficient to thwart any plans to destabilize the region. The unification of these two countries will be a role model for other Islamic nations and hopefully we will see others follow in their steps.
Adnan Oktar's piece in Tehran Times & EKurd Daily: