April 17, 2014

TSG IntelBrief: Riyadh and Ankara Vie for Regional Supremacy

• Saudi Arabia and Turkey are maneuvering to position themselves as the leader of the Sunni Islamic world, as recent events make this historic rivalry more significant than in many decades

• At stake is which version of Islamic governance should be emulated across the region, with Turkey promoting an Islamic democracy and Saudi Arabia promoting an Islamic theocratic monarchy

• The rise and fall of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the subsequent region-wide crackdown on the group adds additional tension between Riyadh and Ankara

• Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia support the overthrow of the Assad regime in Syria and oppose Iranian expansion in the region, though they disagree on how to achieve these two goals.