Mohammed bin Salman, his rivals: History’s vicious circle - ZEKERIYA KURŞUN

Mohammed bin Salman, his rivals: History’s vicious circle

According to recent news from Saudi Arabia and which has been keeping Western media busy, the dynasty is starting to show signs of activity again. The developments are not limited to activity alone; Mohammad bin Salman’s uncle Ahmad bin Abdulaziz and former Crown Prince Mohammad bin Naif, as well as dozens of members of the dynasty have been arrested upon Salman’s instruction.

All the fingers pointing to Salman in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi had led him to a serious loss of prestige. Despite this, the idea that all of Saudi Arabia’s attractive resources being made available to foreign investors – especially Westerners – with his 2030 vision took precedence over the murder and turned Salman into the god of the darkness who will be a lifeline to Western industries.

The outcomes of the Yemen war, which is the war of the weapon lobby, has struck a blow to both Saudi Arabia’s economy and the social integration realized in the century. Salman took the last step that could be taken – with the guidance of U.S. advisers – to revive the economy that hit rock bottom because of the war and to repair the social integration that was shaken. It opened ARAMCO, the world’s biggest oil company, to public trading. The anticipated $2-trillion evaluation was met with the initial trading, however, payments were not made, leading to a major disappointment in the stock market.

Salman’s failure to reach the desired outcome despite playing the biggest trump card in his hand gave home to and re-activated the former crown prince and certain other members of the dynasty.

This is because the Saudi diaspora that has spread across different parts of the world is increasingly voicing out its complaints through social media.

Inside, the cries of those accusing Salman of the destructive economic havoc caused by the Yemen war are echoing around the palace. The high expectations of students who were sent specifically to the U.S. and certain Western countries as part of a social engineering project after the Sept. 11 events is the icing on top.

Salman, who was considered a savior when appointed as crown prince, has now almost turned into someone who embodies all the negative aspects of Saudi Arabian history. In response to this, King Salman, who knows well the dynasty’s history and has a more experienced and wise identity, was left incapacitated and disempowered.

Members of the ruling dynasty, who have been arrested now, are accused of a counter-coup attack against King Salman with support from certain tribes. However, the truth is that these members are not against King Salman but rather his son Mohammed bin Salman. In fact, the existence of in-family rivals that sometimes result in death are known in all Gulf dynasties; as a matter of fact, in terms of history, they are considered normal. However, some social groups, tribes that have paid homage to the king with absolute devotion throughout history cooperating with those other than members of the dynasty has given rise to other big events. Hence, what has been happening in Saudi Arabia today is due for greater expectations beyond ordinary competition.

Abdulaziz, Mohammed bin Salman’s grandfather and founder of Saudi Arabia, had married almost all of Arabia’s big tribes and bonded them to himself through kinship. Hence, this tradition was continued by his sons as well. This clever behavior had great benefit back then and it had even ensured the devotion of tribes that oppose the King. Yet, in time, siblings born from different mothers led to a boom in feudalism between related tribes. In other words, those emirs/princes were no longer the king’s children, but they but rather belonged and were more affiliated with their mothers’ tribes.

Though it is currently too early to state that this is what is exactly happening in Saudi Arabia right now, our archives show that Salman’s maternal grandfather was also party to such a debate.

Abdullah bin Turki, who is from the Saudi dynasty, ruled his emirateship of the Riyadh region until 1870. During the same years, his brother Saud opposes him and demands the emirateship. Saud has two important backers. The British, who want to use this conflict to their advantage and infiltrate Central Arabia, and certain Bedouin tribes that are related from the maternal side. The Ajman tribe is one of the primary tribes among these.

It is impossible to complete in this column the story that resulted in favor of Saud with Midhat Pasha. In short:

When, Rakan bin Hithalayn, the chief of this tribe that cooperated with Saud, whom the British supported against his brother, revolted against the Ottoman Empire, he was arrested and exiled to Nish, which, at the time, was an Ottoman province. Rakan, who was forgiven by Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid II after the Ottoman-Serbian Montenegro war and allowed to return to Najd, expressed his story in exaggeration in poetry, which in time have become epics. Based on his father’s tradition, King Salman made one marriage from the Ajman tribe and Mohammed bin Salman was born to a mother from this tribe.

This short anecdote contains many clues that need to be correlated and interpreted – and this is up to you. However, in any case, hot days that will have serious effect on the region await Saudi Arabia.


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