Monday, August 22, 2011

Turkey Stalling Release of Negative Mavi Marmara Report

Turkey's PM Erdoğan balancing act between Syria and Iran requires
harassing Israel for an apology on Mavi Marmara.
Turkey has once again requested the postponement of the release of the UN Palmer Report on the Mavi Marmara incident and warns that it will cut economic as well as diplomatic ties if Israel continues to refuse to apologize for killing nine 'activists' on board. Why is Prime Minister Erdoğan persisting in this charade?  Because the Palmer report "acknowledges Israel’s right to act against those who threaten its stability and security even in international waters, a conclusion that would make Turkey’s diplomatic struggle against Israel more difficult." 

And what is Turkey's diplomatic struggle against Israel about? It is about securing Turkey's potentially odd-man-out position between Iran and Syria. It is about playing for time by using the Israel-card to win points in a neighborhood that seems to be falling apart at the seams. 

In a scathing article in Hurriyet Daily, Burak Bekdil points to the cracks appearing in "The willing trio of Islamist/anti-Zionist/Third Worldist “brothers” Turkey, Syria and Iran..." resulting from Turkey's unhappiness over Syria's brutal crackdown of protesters. Apparently Iran is furious that Erdoğan called Assad's methods 'savagry' and accused Turkey of helping to arm the 'Syrian terrorists'. Further, Iran's Revolutionary Guards newspaper warned that, “’Should Turkish officials insist on their contradictory behavior and if they continue on their present path, serious issues are sure to follow.” And further, "Iran will choose Syria over Turkey, if it had to choose."

Well with this diplomatic mess Turkey has got into, who wouldn't pick on Israel in order to sustain his Islamist/anti-Zionist/Third Worldist bonafides? Yet as Bekdil comments, it's tricky maintaining the, "policy of constant Israel-bashing each time the Jewish state disproportionately responded to terrorism and killed a few or more than a few – sometimes innocent – Muslims, while Muslim states killed mostly innocent Muslims by the thousands..." but if it means, in this instance, postponing the Palmer report indefinitely and harassing Israel, Turkey's leaders will give it another try. Pity the Obama administration doesn't understand this ploy and is busy urging Israel to apologize.

On a related note, earlier this year, while Iran and Turkey were still best friends, Bekdil, again in Hurriyet Daily, set about contrasting their positions on Israel as "Muslim Turks want a ‘smaller Israel,’ whereas Muslim Iranians want ‘no Israel.’" 

The difference between the rhetoric of Messrs. Ahmadinejad and Davutoğlu (Turkey’s Foreign Minister) is that the Iranian talks about “no Israel” in plain language while the milder Turk talks about a “smaller Israel” in subtle language. To achieve the goal of “no Israel,” the radical Mr. Ahmadinejad resorts to bombs he says he is not building. For his “smaller Israel,” the moderate Mr. Davutoğlu resorts to politics.

"The foreign minister recently said that “it is now time to naturalize the flow of history” with which he probably did not mean granting broader rights to Turkey’s Kurds or officially apologizing to the Armenians for the genocide he says did never exist. Here is how Mr. Davutoğlu thinks he can achieve his goal of “smaller Israel (or of praying at al-Aqsa Mosque in the Palestinian capital): “As a member of the Group of Twenty, Turkey wants to be a leader of a new order… The United Nations and its policy-making bodies should no longer comprised to the winners of World War II, they should represent the whole world.”

"The idea looks worth trying. For a trial period imagine putting Iran, Turkey, Venezuela and Hamas’ Palestine in the U.N. Security Council as members with veto powers. Sounds like real excitement and fun."

And we haven't even mentioned Erdoğan attempts to divert attention from his bombing campaign against the Kurds.

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