This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Turkey-Israel relations may be close to normalization
- Resurgence of Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria
Turkey-Israel relations may be close to normalization
Turkey’s foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Sunday that Israeland Turkey are the closest they’ve been to a normalization ofrelations in years. According to Davutoglu, there have been “positivedevelopments”:
There has recently been a momentum and new approachin compensation talks. We could say that most of the differenceshave been removed recently in these discussions.
Turkey broke off diplomatic relations with Israel after the deaths ofnine Turkish citizens on May 31, 2010, in a confrontation betweenIsrael’s navy and the boat Mavi Marmara in a flotilla headed for Gazain violation of Israel’s Gaza blockade. Since then, prime ministerRecep Tayyip Erdogan has specified three conditions that Israel wouldhave to fulfill in order to restore normal relations.
First, Israelwould have to apologize, and Israel did so last March, under intensepressure from president Barack Obama.
Second, Israel would have to pay monetary compensation to the familiesof the victims. According to Davutoglu, negotiations havesignificantly reduced the difference in the amount between what Turkeydemanded and Israel has offered. On Monday, it was reported that theIsraeli government had decided that it would pay $20 million to thevictims’ families. In return, Turkey will agree to drop charges inits own courts against the IDF soldiers who participated in the raidon the Mavi Marmara.
Erdogan’s third condition was the lifting of the blockade of Gaza.According to Davutoglu, Israel has “eased” the embargo on Gaza. OnTuesday, Erdogan renewed his condition, demanding that Israel providea “written protocol” that they would end the Israeli “siege” on Gaza.
However, Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesdayconfirmed that he has rejected Erdogan’s demand to provide a writtenstatement. It remains to be seen whether further negotiations willyield a compromise. Hurriyet (Turkey) and Israel National News
Resurgence of Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria
Gunmen from the al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group Boko Haram (“Westerneducation is forbidden”) killed 51 people on Tuesday in an attack on amajority Muslim town in northeast Nigeria. Dozens of Boko Haramfighters speeding along in trucks painted in military colors and armedwith automatic weapons and explosives attacked the town, burning houses andshooting fleeing villagers. They also took 20 young girls from alocal college as hostages.
This comes after two incidents last week. On Friday, terroristgunmen in cars and on motorbikes burst into a Christian family’shome and killed a family of seven. On the previous Sunday,52 people were killed when gunmen stormed a church.
Prior to 2009, Boko Haram was a little-known Muslim sect of ethnicHausa people. Starting in 2010, Boko Haram began a series ofterrorist attacks across the country, often bombing Christianchurches, saying their objective was to eliminate all Christians. Inthe last year, Boko Haram has announced its intention to establish anIslamist state in Nigeria’s northeast.
The rise of Boko Haram from a terrorist group to a well-armed militiais another unintended consequence of the West’s military interventionin Libya in 2011. The Libyan action provided a training ground forIslamist jihadists, including Boko Haram, and also provided vaststores of heavy weapons stolen from Muammar Gaddafi’s unguardedstorehouses.
There has been a resurgence of Boko Haram violence since the beginningof the year. Nigeria’s Christian president Goodluck Jonathan hasrepeatedly promised that an army campaign would clean out the BokoHaram terrorists once and for all. However, those attempts have beenstymied, reportedly because some politicians and army members supportBoko Haram. Reuters and AFP