World View: Erdogan Turns Turkey Even More Against Israel and Egypt

This morning's key headlines from
  • Turkey will send new flotilla to break Israel's blockade of Gaza
  • Gaza war further splits Israel's relations with Turkey and U.S.
  • Turkey gets closer to ISIS and Qatar and splits further with Egypt

Turkey will send new flotilla to break Israel's blockade of Gaza

Turkey broke off diplomatic relations with Israel after the deaths of nine Turkish citizens on May 31, 2010, in a confrontation between Israel's navy and the boat Mavi Marmara in a flotilla headed for Gaza in violation of Israel's Gaza blockade. Since then, Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has attempted to find a way to meet the demands of Turkey's prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to restore relations. He's apologized to Erdogan for the incident, and he's negotiated monetary payments to the families of the victims. But Erdogan's third demand, fully ending the blockade of Gaza, has not been met.

The 2010 flotilla was sponsored not by Turkey, but by a Turkish NGO, the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH). Now the IHH has issued a statement saying that activists from twelve countries met in Istanbul and will send a new flotilla "in the shadow of the latest Israeli aggression on Gaza." Daily Sabah (Istanbul) and Jerusalem Post

Gaza war further splits Israel's relations with Turkey and U.S.

Relations between President Barack Obama and Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu have always been extremely frosty, but never more so since the start of the Gaza war. In the past, Obama has demanded that Israel stop building settlements and unilaterally accept a return to Israel's 1948 borders. According to reports, White House officials view Netanyahu as "reckless and untrustworthy," and Israeli officials regard the Obama administration as "weak and naive." Last month, US Secretary of State John Kerry submitted a proposed ceasefire agreement based on private discussions with Hamas's allies, Qatar and Turkey, that gave Hamas everything it wanted. Since then, Israel has shut the U.S. completely out of peace negotiations, and Egypt has assumed the role that the U.S. used to have as chief mediator.

Israel is particularly disturbed by the Obama administration's increasingly close ties with Iran, whom the Israelis consider to be an existential threat because of potential nuclear weapon development. Israel is forming increasingly close alliances with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Palestinian Authority, while Hamas has close relations with Qatar and Turkey.

Turkey's prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has always had a fairly hostile attitude towards Israel, but it became extremely vitriolic following the 2010 flotilla incident. Erdogan has equated Zionism with racism and compared Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Hitler.

This attitude has spread to the public. Turkish Jews and Jewish tourists are experiencing increasing anti-Semitism. According to one businessman, Turks swear at Jews in the street, and one hotel warned in response to an email message requesting to book a room that "for your further safety concerns it is our duty to inform you that the Palestine embassy is our next door neighbor and we do not have private security within the hotel." Jewish tourists are being warned not to visit Turkey.

Erdogan has been prime minister of Turkey since 2003, having been elected for three terms. Last month, Erdogan won election as president of Turkey. Ironically, the president has been little more than a figurehead in the past, but Erdogan plans to expand the powers of the president so he's more powerful than the prime minister in the future. He'll be sworn in as president on August 28. Zaman (Istanbul) and Fox News and Algemeiner and Debka

Turkey gets closer to ISIS and Qatar and splits further with Egypt

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi returned from a visit in Sochi with Russia's president Vladimir Putin. Relations between Egypt and Turkey have gotten so bad that al-Sisi felt that it was unsafe to travel over Turkey's airspace. His plane also avoided Ukraine's air space because of the recent shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. So al-Sisi's plane took a hugely circuitous route from Sochi to Egypt, graphically illustrating how much distance there is between al-Sisi and Turkey's prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Erdogan is angry that al-Sisi last year ousted Egypt's former president Mohamed Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood government, and then violently cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood movement, declaring it a terrorist organization, and killing or jailing thousands of its members. Erdogan's own AKP party is close to the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas is an offshoot of MB, leaving him absolutely furious at the current Gaza war. Erdogan has even furiously blamed Israel for the ouster of Mohamed Morsi, presumably because it's more politically correct to criticize Israel than to criticize Egypt.

Turkey, Qatar, and Hamas are strengthening their alliance versus Israel, Egypt, the Palestinian Authority, and Saudi Arabia. However, Turkey is also developing cordial relations with the Islamic State. This is partly because IS is fighting against Turkey's enemy, Syria's president Bashar al-Assad. Another reason is that IS is holding as hostages 49 Turkish diplomats, including Turkey's consul general in Mosul, whose consulate serves as ISIS's headquarters.

Summary: Turkey + ISIS + Qatar + Hamas VERSUS Egypt + Saudia Arabia + Palestinian Authority + Israel.

Iran is playing a schizophrenic role in all this. Iran is Turkey's enemy with regard to Syria's Bashar al-Assad and ISIS, but Iran is Turkey's ally, along with Hamas, in the Gaza war. As I've written many times, when Iran is forced to choose sides in the coming Clash of Civilizations world war, it will be allied with the west. This is not simply because Mideast alliances, however. It's because Iran is closely allied with India and Russia, and they will be enemies of China and Pakistan. Hurriyet (Ankara) and VOA and War on the Rocks

Permanent web link to this article
Receive daily World View columns by e-mail


Breitbart Video Picks



Fox News National



Send A Tip

From Our Partners