World View: Syria Conflict Turning into a Proxy War

World View: Syria Conflict Turning into a Proxy War

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com

  • Report: Turkey and Israel might be headed for reconciliation
  • Turkey’s Erdogan calls Zionism a ‘crime’, and retracts it
  • U.S. and Turkey’s objectives in Syria appear to be diverging
  • Euro zone unemployment rises to record level
  • Personal income plummets, but spending rises anyway

Report: Turkey and Israel might be headed for reconciliation

Weapons found on the Mavi Marmara
Weapons found on the Mavi Marmara

Turkey and Israel have had almost no diplomatic relations for almostthree years ever since an Israeli commando raid in May, 2010, killednine Turkish men. The commando raid was on a “Freedom Flotilla” ship,the Mavi Marmara, that was attempting to break the Israeli seablockade on Gaza. 

Israel has expressed “regret,” but refused toapologize for its actions in the raid, infuriating Turkey’s primeminister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. But now, the Turkish weekly Radikal isreporting that Israel may have found a formula to apologize to Turkeyfor “operational errors” during the raid on the Mavi Marmara. 

Anapology in the past has been blocked by Israel’s former ForeignMinister Avigdor Lieberman, but Lieberman is now on hiatus, facingcharges of corruption, opening a window in Israel’s government for anapology. Despite the diplomatic tensions between Israel and Turkey,trade between the two countries has been rising. Arab News

Turkey’s Erdogan calls Zionism a ‘crime’, and retracts it

A speech by Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesdayin Vienna contained the following sentence: 

As is the case for Zionism, anti-Semitism andfascism, it is inevitable that Islamophobia be considered a crimeagainst humanity.

American Secretary of State John Kerry called the remarkErdogan’s words a “dark and mendacious statement, the likes of whichwe thought had passed from the world.” 

However, Erdogan apparentlyretracted the comment. The official Anatolia news agency has sent outa correction, removing the reference to Zionism from Erdogan’sremarks, an hour after reporting them. It said the correction was

However, Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, said thatthere was still good reason for relations with Israel to bepoor. Davotoglu said that Turkey had always stoodagainst anti-Semitism, and that Turkey had presentednumerous opportunities to Israel to restore relations, but: 

If we must talk about hostile acts, then Israel’sattitude and its brutal killing of nine of our civilian citizensin international waters may be called hostile…

If Israel wants to hear positive statements from Turkey, it needsto review its attitude. It needs to review its attitude toward us,and it needs to review its attitude toward the people in theregion and especially the West Bank settlementsissue.

Zaman (Istanbul) and Deutsche-Welle (Berlin)

U.S. and Turkey’s objectives in Syria appear to be diverging

On Friday, Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, claimed that theU.S. and Turkey have exactly the same objectives for Syria. However,evidence is growing that American and Turkish objectives arediverging. 

In particular, Turkey is providing support to Islamistsand even jihadists in Turkey, and would like to see a Sunni Islamistgovernment replace the regime of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad.He is showing no sympathy at all for the Alawite, Christian, andKurdish communities. Turkey is thus aligned with Saudi Arabia andQatar, who are reportedly supplying weapons to opposition fighters. 

America and the West, however, want to support only non-Islamistopposition fighters and fear that any support given to jihadistswill eventually be used against the West. Tensions are buildingthroughout the Mideast over the situation in Syria, which isincreasingly appearing to be a proxy war involving the West versusTurkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar versus Russia, Iran, Iraq, Hezbollah, and the al-Assad regime. 

Al-Monitor (Washington) and Arab News (Saudi Arabia)

Euro zone unemployment rises to record level

Eurozone unemployment rate, 2012-13 (AFP)
Eurozone unemployment rate, 2012-13 (AFP)

The euro zone jobless rate rose to 11.9% in January, a record level.Eurozone youth unemployment rose to 24.2%. 

Spain had the highestunemployment rate at 26.2%, with youth unemployment rate at 55.5%.The eurozone inflation rate fell to 1.8% in February, well below theEuropean Central Bank’s target rate. 

Gross domestic product (GDP)contracted 0.6% in the fourth quarter of last year, and is expected todecline again in the current quarter. 

Irish Times and AFP

Personal income plummets, but spending rises anyway

Personal income in January plummeted 3.6% in January, the biggestone-month decrease since 1993, partly due to a pullback from theDecember holiday surge, and also due to tax increases in January.However, the good news is that even though they had a smaller income,they spent more money — 0.2% more than in December. 

eCreditDaily

KEYS: Generational Dynamics, Turkey, Israel, Recep Tayyip Erdogan,Avigdor Lieberman, Mavi Marmara, Gaza, Benjamin Netanyahu,Ahmet Davutoglu, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Iraq,Spain, euro zone 

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