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Rattling the Turkish Saber Against Israel: Erdogan is at it again

September 13, 2011

This writer has made no bones about Turkey and Its leaders, and their attitude towards Israel.  Well, as MEMRI reports, Primer Minister Erdogan is at it again. In a recently translated interview with Al Jazeera, the Turkish PM waxes eloquently about his country’s plan to turn its back on Israel.

Israel must realize that it is accountable for its actions, past and present. It will realize this. We have seen that Israel has never observed any of the resolutions issued by the UN General Assembly or Security Council.

Israel is behaving like a spoilt child. The military attack that took place in international waters against the Mavi Marmara on May 31, 2010 was not in keeping with any international laws or rights. This attack constitutes a casus belli, but we chose to act in a manner befitting the greatness of Turkey, and we adopt a patient position.

[…]

Israel adamantly refuses to apologize and to pay compensation. It also refuses to lift its siege on Gaza. By its insistence upon these political issues, Israel has rendered its relations with Turkey non-existent, and has doomed itself to remain alone. Now even the West views Israel in a different light.

Whether Mr. Erdogan believes any of this, or if he is just pontificating for his fellow Islamic state leaders, we do not know.  I, for one, am of two minds.

On  the one hand, Erdogan is an Islamist and, therefore, has good reason to wish the destruction of Israel.  Putting forth this position will strengthen his esteem among his OIC brethren, as well as bolster his credentials as the leading man in the Islamic region (as he has so boldly played in the past 6-12 months).  Turkey is also a leading economy among the Islamic states, and stands to make a lot of money selling goods to their muslim brothers.

On the other hand, Turkey is a NATO member and is bucking for full membership in the EU.  Thus, siding with the Islamists does not come without losses.  Turkey is still a secular state, and its people like it that way.  Signs that the government is sliding towards the Islamic states may concern voters enough to remove Erdogan’s AKP from power.  Turning their backs on the West would definitely affect Turkey’s economy.  While there is a lot of oil money in the region, it is in a few hands, while Western economies have both scale and depth.  In short, turning one’s back to the West is a pretty big bite on a pretty big hand.

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