Ibrahim Karagül, the editor-in-chief of the stridently pro-government Turkish newspaper Yeni Şafak, called the crown prince of UAE “an Israeli intelligence member” in a column on Monday, in which he warned of the United States and Israel’s attempts to destroy the Muslim world.
In his typically belligerent and outlandish columns in defense of the worldview of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Karagül has accused the United States of attacks against Turkey and organizing the failed coup against Erdogan in July 2016.
Human Rights Watch has described Yeni Şafak as a “major Islamist daily” and “a paper for Islamist intellectuals.”
In his column this week, Karagül refers to a variety of headlines coming out of the Middle East as “strange, extremely dangerous developments,” beginning with the corruption crackdown manned by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and launched this month. He argues that, in the fight against terrorism, Arab nations appear increasingly concerned with limiting the influence of Iran in the region and eradicating uncontrollable jihadist movements. He describes this as part of a larger plan to bring the Arab Muslim world into Israel’s orbit at the expense of the non-Arab Muslim world, led by Turkey and Iran.
“A new era that is prepared in the U.S.-U.K.-Israel axis, carried out through the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia, served through young Arab rulers, that pushes aside the Shiite-Sunni separation, that is adjusted to give rise to Arab nationalism and centers entirely on Arab-Israel friendship has been launched,” he writes.
“The boss of the project in the region is not Mohammed bin Salman, but UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who we can now easily say is an Israeli intelligence member,” Karagül asserts. He goes on to claim the ultimate goal of this “project” is to unite Arabs and Israelis and put into question the caretaking of the two holiest sites in Islam, Mecca and Medina.
“The project’s U.S. and Israeli bosses are telling them: You and the Israelis are cousins. There is no reason for you to fight,” Karagül writes. “On the contrary, unite and become allies. Fight against the Arabs’ true enemy, the Iranians, fight the Persians. The non-Arab Muslim world is a greater threat. Form a single front against them with Israel.”
Karagül predicts the project “will wipe out the 20th century from history and memories.” He goes on:
The Muslim worlds’ streets may fall into an abyss; if the new situation rises through Arab nationalism, a counterwave may form in the region. If the wind continues, this new Western invasion theory represented by Nahyan and Mohammed bin Salman may lead to a major reaction in the Arab world.
Karagül concludes by accusing America of having “struck and lost Turkey through terrorism.” He does not provide any evidence for his accusations against Nahyan, the United States, or Israel.
This is not the first time that Karagül makes such claims. In October, he wrote that the entire Arab Muslim world “is being taken hostage through the UAE and Israel and the marketing aspect of it all is being carried out through Saudi Arabia.” He once again wrote about a “project” meant to establish support for the United States and Israel.
While railing against alleged American intervention in the Middle East, Karagül has repeatedly promoted Turkish political infiltration of Europe, supporting Erdogan’s plans to host political rallies in countries like Germany, Denmark, and the Netherlands.
In 2016, Karagül accused the United States of organizing the failed coup against Erdogan. “The U.S. is the one who planned and applied this coup attempt. Those generals, those traitors got all the instructions from Gülen and he conveyed the orders of those who planned the intervention,” he wrote.
Fethullah Gulen is an Islamic cleric residing in Pennsylvania. Once an ally of Erdogan’s, the Turkish government now calls his spiritual movement the “Fethullah Terrorist Organization” (FETO) and has blamed Gulen for the coup attempt. Gulen has denied any involvement in the event.
As editor-in-chief, Karagül is responsible not only for the bizarre ramblings in his own columns, but the outrageous claims commonly found elsewhere in Yeni Şafak.
In addition to the UAE Crown Prince, Yeni Şafak recently accused former Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani of working with the Israeli Mossad and the CIA to create the Islamic State terrorist group, publishing an alleged “document” proving the collusion which did not actually name any of the parties involved except for Barzani. In the beginning of the year, Yeni Şafak claimed the American government had organized and executed the Islamic State attack on Istanbul’s Reina nightclub, committed by Uzbek terrorist Abdulkadir Masharipov.
While many within pro-Erdogan circles blamed the United States for organizing the failed coup against the Turkish president, Yeni Şafak published a report identifying one particular suspect—retired U.S. Army general and former NATO commander Gen. J.F. Campbell—as the mastermind of the attack. The newspaper did not offer any evidence and Campbell denied the charge.
“I haven’t traveled outside the U.S. since I came back from Afghanistan in March. In fact, on the day of the coup I think I was in New York City with Geraldo [Rivera] having a beer,” Campbell said, a claim television personality Rivera supported.