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AUGUST 2020

Reports Claim Turkey Plans To Establish A Military Base In Oman

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Reports Claim Turkey Plans To Establish A Military Base In Oman

Turkey’s military base in Somalia

Social media platforms in the Gulf region have been speculating about reports that Turkey intends to establish a military base in the Sultanate of Oman. If confirmed, the military base would substantially increase Turkey’s ability to participate directly and directly in the conflict in Yemen as well as posing a potential threat to its rivals the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

The flurry of speculation started when Turkish politician Ibrahim Kargul, who is close to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, claimed that Turkey had concluded an agreement with the Sultanate to establish a military base.

Kargul stated in comments posted on Twitter: “Erdogan succeeded in his geopolitical mentality to tighten his control of the region by dominating the Red Sea through the military base in Somalia, and on the Gulf through the base that he agreed with the Omani authorities to establish in the Sultanate, after establishing Turkish military base in Qatar.”

Turkish military expert Akar Hakan confirmed on his Twitter account that Turkey is preparing to sign a military treaty with the Sultanate of Oman.

He pointed out that no political or military meetings between the two countries have taken place over the last few days, except for a meeting of the Secretary General of Oman’s Foreign Ministry and the Assistant Foreign Minister of Turkey who held discussions on economic, social and cultural matters.

Akar Hakan continued: “But this does not negate the existence of military cooperation between the Sultanate of Oman and Turkey,” noting that “the issue of establishing a Turkish base in the Sultanate of Oman has been raised for a year or two, and there are reports that Turkey has applied to establish a base near the Yemen border, but there is no Something formal about that.”

However, the Omani journalist and international affairs expert, Salem Al-Jahoury, considers that the claims regarding the establishment of a Turkish military base in Buraimi, and the controversy they have caused, are intended to harm relations between Oman and its neighbours within the Gulf Cooperation Council.

Al-Jhouri said that the claims were inaccurate and contained contradictory information, as Al-Buraimi is a desert region where a naval base could not be established. He also noted that it was said at the beginning that there will be one base, then it was said that two bases will be established.

Al-Jhouri emphasized that “nothing official has been issued by the Omani government regarding the establishment of a Turkish base in Buraimi,” but he pointed out at the same time that “Oman has military cooperation with some countries in the world, including Turkey.” LINK

The speculation follows the news late last week that Turkey and Niger have signed several protocols and agreements, including the areas of delivery of goods, financial aid, military training, and youth and sports.

Cavusoglu commented of his talks with Nigerien President Issoufou Mahamadou on boosting relations between the two countries that they also evaluated the prospects for bilateral cooperation against terrorism and how Africa in general and Niger and the Sahel region in particular have been affected.

Apart from providing a potential alternative bridgehead, logistical base and transport hub for Turkey’s military operations in Libya, the Military Training Cooperation Agreement signed with Niger could also serve as a means to curb France’s influence and oppose the French military’s efforts in Africa’s Sahel region given that country’s vocal criticism of Turkey’s in and around the eastern Mediterranean and shows of support for Greece and Egypt in recent times. Turkey is unlikely to miss an opportunity to disrupt and if possible undermine French interests in the region in retaliation.

An analysis by the Ahval portal comments with respect to Turkey’s growing foreign military presence and activities:

Levent Özgül, a Turkish defence analyst, noted that Turkey has “formal expeditionary bases” in Qatar, Somalia, northern Cyprus and Sudan along with “informal activities in Tripoli, Libya” where Turkey supports and arms the Government of National Accord (GNA) against the UAE-backed Libyan National Army (LNA).

“The Qatar, Somalia and Sudan deployments and Libyan efforts are all against Saudi Arabia and the UAE,” Özgül told Ahval.

Turkey has had a military base in Qatar for several years now, giving its troops a foothold in the Gulf. When the Saudis and Emiratis spearheaded a major blockade against Qatar in the summer of 2017, Turkey bolstered its troop presence there in a clear show of support for its ally.

In Somalia, Turkey established a large military base in the capital Mogadishu to train Somali soldiers. It costs an estimated $50 million and can train about 1,500 Somali soldiers at a time to help Mogadishu combat the Al-Shabaab group.

Özgül said Cyprus was “the hottest spot” where Turkey has military forces. Turkey maintains approximately 30,000 troops in the internationally unrecognised Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and there have been reports that it is also contemplating building a naval base there. LINK

However, a major obstacle Turkey faces in maintaining its overseas bases is accessibility since the Red Sea and Gulf could easily be closed by Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Hence, although the continued expansion of Turkey’s foreign military activities increases Turkey’s scope for possible actions against its rivals, it also increases its vulnerability to countermeasures as many of the military bases and contingents have extended supply lines and are exposed to possible attack, a risk that will increase dramatically if Turkey attempts to utilize these forces in provocative military operations.

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  • lovethemapples

    Sounds like fake news. Neither Oman nor Turkeys needs that base. Oman is unofficially under protectorate of UK and is an important spot for anti-piracy operations along with stability of Hormuz straight.
    Turkey doesn’t need base in Oman because they already have one in Somalia.
    East of Yemen and west of Oman are deserts, and not logistically attarctive.

    • Zionism = EVIL

      I would agree. However, with Sultan Qaboos dead, Oman is up for grabs and its internal compact is weakening. The Dhofar rebellion is also cooking again. In the 70’s Iran stepped in with its airforce and special forces to stabilize Qaboos. Now there seems to be a growing conflict between the Turks and the Wahhabi Arabs of Saudi Arabia and UAE trying to muscle in on a normally moderate Oman.

      • lovethemapples

        There is no rebellion cooking again mate, its the same dynasty ruling, and the transition went smoothly. The only problem is that Oman is out of cash and were thinking of getting it from UAE/Saudi or Qatar, which might have been the only influence struggle recently.
        But they choose WB even though the interest rate is high due to dropped credit rating. And with on/off Covid19 curfew until 8th August (pending extention) many expats left the country creating jobs in private sector that government wants to fill by firing people (Omanis) from the government.
        Visit any ministry in Oman and you will see most offices empty, because departments gathering 15-20 people in one of the offices and drinking coffee and chatting, very overstaffed and doing almost nothing, just draining the budget. And since their salaries were not high enough anyways, all of them were taxiing after shift of 7am-2pm. So they will be happy to move to the private sector. Although not qualified yet. Generally nice people though.
        Many things are about to change in Oman but I am pretty sure the foreign policy will remain as before.

    • occupybacon

      Turkey is desperate in need of money, what if MBS will pay Erdogan few billions just not to build a base in Oman.

      • lovethemapples

        Well we didn’t see MBS offering money to Iran to stop support to Houthis, and Iran is even more in need of cash. Low oil/gas prices bad for Iranian economy, good for Turkish economy.
        Also MBS didn’t pay Turkey when they were setting up in Qatar.

        • occupybacon

          A turkish base in Oman would protect Qatar investitiins in this country. And will revenge on KSA for threatening Qatar.

          • lovethemapples

            I understand what you mean. Qatar pays Oman to install Turkish base there. But Oman already is talking to WB for a load, and doesn’t want to choose sides (haven’t since 70s) by taking money from Qatar only.
            Also Qatari investments in Oman are not more than Saudi ones. But Emir has a very nice beach side palace in Adhaiba, Muscat. Even servants have villas to stay in. Could actually be the most expensive Qatari asset in Oman. 23°36’12.4″N 58°21’07.0″E

          • occupybacon

            Thanks, I am aware that Oman is neutral but I don’t know much of the situation there and I try to not take myself too seriously. Just making some wild suppositions.

          • lovethemapples

            Watching some Alex Jones:)))? Just kidding. Your thoughts are not that wild though, quiet logical. I have heard some that made my face go like https://media2.giphy.com/media/jPDkKN5CcfdTO/giphy.gif

      • lovethemapples

        Uuuups. Now I though that your comment might have actually been sarcastic and I like a smartass was explaining why it cant happen:)))

        • occupybacon

          Now depends how much money does Qatar have to spend. It’s vital for them to escape KSA and UAE encirclement. What if they will let Turkey drill in their teritorial waters? Everything is on table.

  • Jens Holm

    I dont believe in that at all. Oman with its connection to India and hardly no internal conflicts dont want that.

  • FlorianGeyer

    Mmmmmm, Oman is traditionally a UK Playground.
    I wonder what the opinion of MI6 will be?