Turkey Turns on Israel

Two weeks after delivering a blow to the U.S.-led efforts to strengthen sanctions against Iran by mediating a uranium exchange agreement involving the Islamic Republic and Brazil, Turkey once again has seized the international spotlight in the wake of the deadly clash between Israeli commandos and armed Turkish activists aboard the Gaza-bound flotilla. Turkey’s central role in both developments is no coincidence. It is a reflection of the current Turkish government’s determined efforts to shed the secular legacy of its predecessors, to consolidate power at home, and to align the country with the Islamic world – which means a collision course with America and, especially, with Israel.

The flotilla ship, the Mavi Marmara, originated from the Turkish port, Antalya and the majority of those killed and wounded in the confrontation with Israeli commandos were Turkish citizens. While Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warns Israel “not to test its patience,” Turkey is leading the international chorus of denunciations against the Jewish state. While it may appear as if the latest controversy is one more bloody chapter in the long saga of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the deadly confrontation in the Mediterranean is in reality more about Turkey’s destiny and its upcoming and planned confrontation with Israel.

The ruling party in Turkey, the Justice and Development Party (AKP), seems to be driven by two main factors. On the eve of the upcoming national elections, the AKP is desperate to stave off defeat at the hands of the surging opposition. Under such circumstances, the AKP seeks to exploit people’s sense of patriotism and religious solidarity with Muslim Palestinians by forcing a confrontation with Israel. However, it would be wrong to attribute the behavior of the AKP government to Machiavellian instincts alone. The religious and political forces behind the AKP, long suppressed and dormant in republican and secular Turkey, believe in the idea of a transcendent Islamic identity and reject the concept of a secular nation state founded by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

The objective of AKP Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to do away with Turkey’s republican system. The actions of his administration have eroded Turkey’s standing with the West and now, with the flotilla incident, a fundamental shift has transpired in Turkish foreign policy. This shift did not occur overnight. In retrospect, the AKP’s refusal to grant passage to U.S. troops on the eve of the Iraq War in 2003 was the opening act of the distancing between Ankara and Washington. The result of the Turkish denial of invasion routes from the north, and hence, the forced concentration of U.S. military operations in the Shia-populated south, no doubt contributed to the rise of the insurgency in the Sunni Triangle and increased casualties. In 2005, Turkey itself became the victim of the anarchy in Iraq as the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) expanded its base in Iraqi Kurdistan and launched deadly attacks on Turkish targets. Ankara threatened Washington with the invasion of northern Iraq. Loath to wreck its relations with the long-standing ally, the U.S. accommodated the Turkish demand by supplying it with satellite intelligence and leaning heavily on the Kurdish authorities in the region to crack down on PKK. US-Turkish relations now seemed cordial on the surface. But the goodwill between the two nations evaporated rather quickly. A public survey in 2007 showed, for instance, that only nine percent of the Turks had favorable views toward the United States.

There is a proverb in Turkish: When you cannot beat the donkey, punch the saddle. It would be tempting to surmise that since Erdogan lacks the resources and capacity to pick a fight with the United States, Israel became the next obvious target. But the situation is more complicated. Unlike Islamic Iran, where Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini distinguished America and Israel as, respectively, the Great and Little Satan for decades, Turkey maintained a solid military alliance with Israel. Turning the “Little Satan” into an enemy in the Turkish public eye was no small feat. For years, the Israelis had been actively involved in the upgrading of Turkish fighter planes and weaponry. The two countries did not just share military technology; they had also shared common enemies. Just as Syria posed a threat to Israeli national security, the government of Hafez Assad laid claims to Turkish territories and harbored PKK leaders in its territories. Oriented toward the West, Turkey’s relations with other Arab countries were lukewarm at best. After all, most Turks never forgot what they regarded as the Arab betrayal of Ottoman Turkey during the First World War when many Arabs sided against the Turks and their German patrons and fought for the British in what they saw as a war of independence against Turkish domination.

The Erdogan government viewed repairing relations with the Arab world as essential to its domestic as well as global agenda. The key figure in the tectonic shift was the architect of the new Turkish foreign policy, Ahmet Davutoglu, who inaugurated a policy called “zero problems with neighbors.” On the surface, it looked as if Davutoglu was the faithful follower of Ataturk’s dictum – “Peace at Home, Peace in the World.” But having been brought up in a religious household and having been a product of the Islamic education system, Davutoglu’s intentions widely differed from those of the founder of the secular state. By establishing warm relations with their country’s autocratic neighbors to the East, the new Turkish government had, in fact, begun quietly steering Turkey away from the West. All along, the AKP leadership insisted on its strong desire to enter the European Union. But behind the scenes, both the European political elite and the Turkish leadership shared a similar objective: to keep Turkey away from Europe and, as the AKP hoped, to integrate Turkey with the rest of the Islamic community of nations. This way, the Europeans would be free, despite their public statements, from a secret fear – an EU with millions of Turks. In its turn, the AKP would get an eastward looking Turkey with autocratic tendencies and Islamist orientation. Bashing and isolating Israel was an integral part of the strategy that accompanied epic changes in Turkish politics.

To accomplish its objectives with regard to Israel, the Erdogan government took an unusual route. Abandoning the long-standing tradition of non-interference in the Mideast conflict, in 2006, Ankara took the initiative to mediate peace between Israel and Syria. As the negotiations went forward, the Israelis began to realize that the so-called mediation was in fact a cover by the Turkish Islamists to engage in deeper contact with Israeli enemies without provoking concern in the mass Turkish domestic public or in the West. How else could the leader of a secular republic and NATO ally justify shaking hands with the representative of Hamas? With the eruption of war in Gaza in 2008, the Erdogan government openly sided with Israel’s enemies by issuing severe criticism of Israel.

During this period, anti-Israel hysteria began to grip Turkish society. The Turks began boycotting Israeli goods en masse. In Ankara, the Israeli basketball team was run off the court by mobs shouting “Allah Akbar.” Israeli-Turkish hostility escalated further after the shocking confrontation between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Shimon Peres at Davos where the Turkish leader called the Nobel Peace Prize winner a “murderer.”  In the ensuing months, a Turkish soap-opera TV series portrayed Israelis as bloodthirsty child-killers and lionized a fictional film secret agent who shoots and kills a treacherous-looking Israeli ambassador who is engaged in trading body-parts – classic anti-Semitic themes.

The recent incident in the Mediterranean has now greatly escalated tensions between Turkey and Israel. But the progression of events suggests something far more sinister and disturbing with regard to Turkey’s trajectory as a nation. In 1923, when Ataturk established the republic, he repudiated the expansionist ambitions of the Ottoman Empire in favor a peaceful, inward-looking nation state. Having seen his share of dreadful fighting, Ataturk did not wish his nation to become embroiled in territorial conflicts with its neighbors. To accomplish that task, he enacted reforms in politics and society that sought to make Turkey more like France rather than Egypt.

Ataturk’s philosophy of governance turned out to be a spectacular success. Since 1923, with the exception of the Cyprus invasion in 1974, Turkey has successfully managed to avoid being drawn into conflicts and thus saved the lives of millions of its citizens from the murderous currents of the 20th century. Turkey’s success in foreign policy did not just emanate from its peace-loving Kemalist philosophy, but was owed to the wise investment of its republican leadership in the alliance with the West, specifically with the United States. Without the support of Washington and its alliance with NATO, it is doubtful that Turkey would have succeeded in fending off pressures from the USSR to the north and Syria to the southeast. Moreover, its strong ties with the West also enabled Turkey to build a modern military that served as a potent deterrent against aggression. The Erdogan government clearly views this policy as the reduction of Turkey’s status as a global player and has decided to do away with it and replace it with a more aggressive, externally focused policy.

Even the Ottoman Empire, which the AKP government is clearly seeking to emulate, had turned westward after its defeats in the 18th century — long before Ataturk’s radical push for cultural reformation. It should be noted that much of the Tanzimat reforms that brought changes to the Ottoman socio-political infrastructure were inspired by the imperial envoys’ observations in the capitals of Europe. During the Crimean War of 1853-56, the Turks fought side by side with the British and French soldiers against the Russian armies. Moreover, the goodwill between the Turks and the Jews dates back to 1492 when Sultan Bayezid II welcomed the Jewish refugees fleeing the persecution of King Ferdinand of Spain. According to renowned historian of Islam, Bernard Lewis, “the Jews were not just permitted to settle in the Ottoman lands, but were encouraged, assisted and sometimes even compelled.” The Ottoman leadership viewed the Jews as an industrious group whose economic success would bring generous revenues to the state treasury, and treated them with courtesy.

Erdogan’s brand of Islamism and anti-Semitism is not entirely new or original. It was always there within certain elements of the population. But coupled with an ideological zeal and thirst for power, it now threatens to undo most of the accomplishments of the Turkish republic. Erdogan and those around him do not wear turbans or mullah-style robes, but the illusion of a golden Islamic past under the first four caliphs in the 8th century has been drilled into them at the madrases they attended when they were young. Even more powerful than the ideological sympathy for Islamic solidarity is Erdogan’s desire to retain internal political power at all cost. He is an Islamist, but the most important feature distinguishing Erdogan from all previous heads of the Turkish republic is his drive to dismantle all checks and balances to his power. Erdogan’s increasing assault on the top leaders of the military that have long been viewed as the guardians of the Kemalist democracy, together with his “reforms” of the court system and of the constitution, has served the aim of keeping the AKP in power long enough to change the character of the Turkish state. In that sense, Erdogan’s struggle is mostly a domestic one – at this moment, at least.

In recent weeks, Erdogan has been especially alarmed by the rise of an opposition leader in the person of Kemal Kilicdaroglu. In the aftermath of the resignation of the disgraced leader of the Republican People’s Party, Deniz Baykal, who was videotaped having sex with one of his political aides, Kilicdaroglu has emerged as a promising leader and the new face of the Kemalist opposition. Affectionately called “The Turkish Gandhi” by the Turkish people, Kilicdaroglu inspires them with qualities rare for a Turkish politician. He is competent, humble and not corrupt. In the last congress of the party, just prior to the flotilla incident, Kilicdaroglu vowed to defeat the AKP in the upcoming national elections and form the next government. In the face of a serious internal political challenge, Erdogan believes he has found an easy formula of drumming up popularity at home by provoking Israel.

There is, however, a price to be paid for the sinister methods by which Erdogan has sought to manipulate pubic opinion. As the Islamist leader stokes the fires of hatred against the Jewish state, he is dragging Turkey further out of its safety zone and toward uncharted territory. Erdogan may reap personal dividends from throwing stones at Israel, but for a country with a substantial Kurdish minority that grows increasingly restless in its aspirations for independence, expressing outrage at the alleged oppression of the Palestinians may spell disaster. The segment of Turkish society that supports Erdogan’s policies vis-à-vis Israel might also start to recognize its own share of responsibility for the reckless actions of its government.

Perhaps some of the AKP’s ambitions emanate from the fact that for nearly a century, Turkey has not fought a major war. Not a single living Turk has a memory of the calamities that ripped the Turkish society apart in the beginning of the 20th century. Following the loss of millions of Turkish lives, leaders such as Ataturk developed a strong distaste for the type of adventurism that now characterizes the behavior of the Erdogan government on the international stage. Thanks to the wisdom of its traditional experience, the Turkish homeland has not come under an attack during its entire existence as a republic. The Turks will only keep the peace if they can keep the republic.

Askar Askarov received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Maryland in 2007. He is as an instructor at the Elliott School of International Affairs.

  • vigilance

    Erdogan MUST be desperate to ensure his re-election. It is plain to see that his threats to Israel can lead to a conflagaration and even the destruction of Turkey. There are many peoples, e.g., Greeks, Serbs, Kurds, who, once they see an opening, would relish the chance to totally obliterate Turkey. If even a little of the propaganda about Israel's "crime" is exposed as lies, and Turkey's ancient enemies smell blood, the outcome could be an historic disaster for the Turkish nation. This is reflected in Erdogan's words and deeds: At one moment he is threatening to personally command an attack v. Israel, the next, he warns Israel that they are endangering Turkish – Israeli relations. It would not be surprising if the Israelis are luring him in and laughing at his act.

    • Contrarian

      Vigilance, there are equally, if not more, people who would be happy to see the last of the US too. Just think how many nations the US has rubbed up the wrong way, say,in the last hundred years. That's almost the entire planet! It is also bunkum that he is threatening to personally command an attack on Israel.
      Throw enough mud and some of it will stick, is that the MO, Vigilance?

      • xman

        I suppose its just as well the US rubbed up Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, otherwise the whole of Europe wouild be kliving under Nazi rule, and the Far East, including Australia and New Zealand under Japanese rule. Of course, had all of Europe lived under Nazi rule, your wish of seeing at least 80% of the world's Jews exterminated would have come true.

  • Jim Johnson

    Turkey occupies former Greek land . The Turks stole it by force of arms. Turkey rightfully belongs to Greece. The Serbs certainly deserve reparations as does Greece for the Turkish occupation of their lands.

    Keep Turkey out of the EU

    • Kanwi

      I think it is a given that the EU will not admit Turkey because of the Islamic problem. As for Turkey's future yes, Greece, Serbia and the Kurds can certainly cut Turkey down to a size something like Israel would be fitting. With Iran also competing for future 'top Dog' position Turkey will have it's hands full and then it will grovel back to Israel.

    • Ron Grant

      "Turkey occupies former Greek land . The Turks stole it by force of arms. Turkey rightfully belongs to Greece."

      Israel occupies former Palestinian land.The Jews stole it by force of arms.Israel rightfully belongs to Palestine.

      P.S.Jews in glass houses shouldn't throw stones,with perhaps the exception of David.

      • USMCSniper

        Ron Grant is a usef idiot of Islam. Useful Idiots are naive, foolish, ignorant of facts, unrealistically idealistic, dreamers, willfully in denial or deceptive. They hail from the ranks of the chronically unhappy, the anarchists, the aspiring revolutionaries, the neurotics who are at war with life, the disaffected alienated from government, corporations, and just about any and all institutions of society. The Useful Idiot can be a billionaire, a movie star, an academe of renown, a politician, or from any other segment of the population.

        Arguably, the most dangerous variant of the Useful Idiot is the 'Politically Correct.' He is the master practitioner of euphemism, hedging, doubletalk, and outright deception. The shoe fits Ron. Wear It

        • xman

          Ron Grant isn't naive, foolish or ignorant. He's plain evil.

        • Ron Grant

          "Useful Idiot is the 'Politically Correct.'

          I'm beginning to wonder if anyone on this forum is politically correct. Muchiboy

        • Ron Grant

          "He is the master practitioner of euphemism, hedging, doubletalk, and outright deception. The shoe fits Ron. Wear It "

          There is a place perhaps for all of the above on this or any forum or debate.Yes,there are certain facts that are a matter of historical record that we all may bring to bear for one side or the other e.g.ancient Jewish state of Israel,continuous Jewish presence;majority Arab (Palestinian) presence for thousands of years,up until 1948;persecution of the Jewish Diaspora;the Holocaust;large scale European Jewish immigration to Palestine;right of return for all Jews;denial of the same right (birthright) for Palestinians.We can agree on many of these facts,more or less.The difficulty comes in the right or wrong,the morality of the re-creation of a Zionist state in Palestine,the home of Arab,Christians and Jews.And today,accusations of Israeli ethnic cleansing and Palestinian terrorism are not as clear cut as either side would believe.Muchiboy

          P.S.And,forgive me, "Get the hell out of Palestine"

      • S. HaLevi

        Dear Ron,
        Eretz Israel is JEWISH LAND from way before most of the present day so called countries existed. In particular before the Turkik tribes stolen lands converted into another of those "islamic ancestral" things. .
        Learn History. The British are famous for fabricating things such as the PILTDOWN ancestor to them… LOL "palestina" was labeled so by the Romans. That pseudo name was later adopted by the creatures that "inherited" the Roman Empire shreds. The Romans never saw a "palestin" but JEWS in Eretz Israel. And murdered hundreds of thosands of our people. Make sure you internalize the facts Ron. Anyone or country again tries that and they will never see another day…
        The rabble that adopted about 40 years ago that label, are a mixed bag of vagrants from Sudan, Egypt, Libya, Syria, etc.
        Please tell us all who was the "president" of that rabble before Arafat. For that matter who was in their "parliament" before that?
        Turkic tribes will be rolled back by those they assault or mudered for many years and that will happen sooner if the misfits try their hand in our Land.

        • Ron Grant

          "Eretz Israel is JEWISH LAND"

          Even today,there is a significant Palestinian presence in your "Eretz Israel".Someday there may even be a Palestinian majority in Israel.
          I'd like to think humanity is ONE on our tiny little blue dot.Is there room for the tiny "eretz Israel" on our little blue planet? Is there a place for the denial and suffering of the Palestinians as well? It seems to me we need more not less tolerance here.We need less exclusion whether we are talking about Islamists or Zionists.For the time being,just talking about it and exchanging views is helpful.Muchiboy

        • Contrarian

          Thus spake a fanatic!!!

      • MixMike

        "Israel occupies former Palestinian land.The Jews stole it by force of arms.Israel rightfully belongs to Palestine. "

        Wrong, Israel LEGALLY purchased VACANT and TENANT-FREE land to build a Jewish state. The only parties using force were the xenophobic Arabs who rejected a Jewish state.

        "P.S.Jews in glass houses shouldn't throw stones,with perhaps the exception of David. "

        Jews don't throw stones, that is what Fatah and Hamas trained Palestinian children are for.

  • mike

    No Israel turned on Turkey by murdering its citizens in International waters. Netanyahu is a thug and a bully and should be kicked hard in the groins for having authorized the disastrous commando raid.

    • William Smart

      You'd think Israel had enough public relations disasters on it's hands without this one – which it brought down on it's own head just when it needs maximum world support against Iran.

      It's particularly ridiculous to blockade cement out of Gaza because Hamas doesn't want or need to build bunkers. Their leaders probably hide out under the main hospital on the strip and any cement they need they can get.

      • fatmanisaturd

        WRONG WRONG WRONG. They use it to build tunnels and bunkers ala Hizbollah

    • fatmanisaturd

      BULLSHIT. They came to break a blockade that is LEGAL. A blockade that did not involve Turkey but a declared WAR by Hamas against Israel. They were offered to take the "aid" through Egypt and Ashdod but refused. Funny how the other ships were boarded peacefully but the one with Turks turned violent. These scumbags were singing Khaibar O Khaiobar when they set sail. Peace activists my ass, they attacked first with knives and metal rods. The video evidence is clear. You are not PARTIAL you just spout out anything as long as it accuses Israel. Typical muslim mindset

  • http://cakmaligtivi.blogspot.com cnsy

    Kahrolsun israil ve onun işbirlikçileri !

    • Kishmein Tochas

      Uzun İsrail – irrasyonel İslami faşizm ortaçağ bir son getirmek yaşamak

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Stephen_Brady Stephen_Brady

      This is an English forum. Speak English, if you have the courage.

      • trickyblain

        He says: "Down with Israel and its collaberators."

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/Stephen_Brady Stephen_Brady

          Ah! Thank you.

          As an Israeli collaborator, it's always good to know when you're dealing with enemies!

    • trickyblain

      Bir Türkiye kuş türü. Amerikalılar onu yiyin. Bu yüzden Yahudiler yok.

    • kamil

      Bu politika fanatizm, yoksulluk ve Kürdistan nihayet kaybı ve sona ereceğini sonra turk ulus için başka bir baba, göreceksin

  • http://hyphenatedamericans.blogspot.com Hyphenated American

    Lets not forget the Turkish army…
    I believe Turkish Islamists need the conflict with Israel as a shield against secular Turkish military.

    I've written a couple of articles on this topic – but they are too long to be reproduced here. Check them out here:

    Inquiring minds demand to know – is Turkey cooked yet? http://hyphenatedamericans.blogspot.com/2010/06/i… inds-demand-to-know-is.html

    This will not stand, ya know, this aggression will not stand, man http://hyphenatedamericans.blogspot.com/2010/06/t… ot-stand-ya-know-this.html

  • http://hyphenatedamericans.blogspot.com Hyphenated American

    Corrected links…

    Inquiring minds demand to know – is Turkey cooked yet? http://hyphenatedamericans.blogspot.com/2010/06/i

    This will not stand, ya know, this aggression will not stand, man http://hyphenatedamericans.blogspot.com/2010/06/t

  • Fatman

    Go Turkey Go, Turkey have very good Navy, they have about 16 submarines too, i hope if they send there navy to Gaza, no body will dare to attack them, & if they are attacked i am sure Pakistan & Iran will be fully support Turkey,

    • S. HaLevi

      We prefer not to have to do another 1967 but this time there will be no "negotiations to stop or after they islamics get again shooped to nothing.
      Otherwise I agree with you. Go Turkey go and with it, the rest of the islamic monsters nut houses.
      Turkey as whole is living on stolen Land from Greece, Kurds, Armenians which they mass murdered to the tune of 1.5 million. They di trot over here once and accross the street from my home there is a hill held by then as the British Army advanced.
      From time to time we find Turkish shreds mixed with shrapnel from British heavy siege guns.
      Istambul's real name is CONSTANTINOPLA. I agree with you very much, they will go from there as well. For sure, if they just bat an eyelash.
      Iran is blood soaked insane asylum with no air force or navy worth a you know what. The few rockets they do have, will be, for the most, installed with ease into their collective derrieres. With any luck, the few that may come this way, will hopefully hit square the Temple Mount mosques.
      India will take care of the British abortion called Pakistan in no time, no time at all.

      So, soon they will all go.

      • Fatman

        This is not 1967, now it is the matter of minutes my dear, THE COUNTRY LIKE ISRAEL IS the biggest excess of eval on earth, they muslins should join hands to finish this eval , you should thankful to God that Israel border is not with Pakistan, Pakistan is 1/4 of India, but look how they control them, they are shitting like morons when they even think about Pakistan or destruction of Pakistan

        • Peter P

          Fuck off. You're full of shit. Learn how to spell. Pakistan is the biggest excess of evil on the Earth followed by Turkey. And then Iran. Go and join the jihadists you so admire and don't come back.

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/Rifleman Rifleman

          Don't hold back, tell us how you really feel.

        • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/jaythehistorian jaythehistorian

          My reply to you is : 500 Nukes , 7 million degrees, deserts of glass

      • Ron Grant

        "Turkey as whole is living on stolen Land from Greece, Kurds, Armenians which they mass murdered .."

        Something in common with Zionist Israel.Birds of a feather.Muchiboy

        • xman

          We might as well say the US has lands stolen from Mexico as well. Israel is a tiny country the size of Wales with a population less than that if London, which is bordered by hiostile countries with a combined population of 130 million. They've stolen land from nobody. They've given up land. And looking at your typical antisemitic offerings on these boards, it seems as if you've given up your last remaining living brain cells.

        • MixMike

          How does one live on stolen land that is LEGALLY purchased?

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Rifleman Rifleman

      Lol, the Turkish navy would have a very short, exiting life if they tangled with the IDF. I bet you thought the same of the combined arab armies before Israel kicked their butts.

      • Fatman

        Pakistanis Afghans & Turks are not like Arabs, so dont under estimate their military too, to cover a country like Israel 200 Taliban will be enough ………………

        • cochavi1

          Both you and Muchiboy are very frightening. I invite the Turkish Navy, draped with the crescent and the star, to sail under its full power to Israel. Please be aware that 1) the Russians will coerce you while you are away, 2) the loudmouthed Iranians will not help you in reality, and 3) the Israeli Navy, IDF and IAF will decimate your ships. Enjoy your day. Fat Man.

        • http://intensedebate.com/people/Rifleman Rifleman

          I'm not under estimating the Turks, who have one of the best militaries in dar al islam (their story in the Korean War is stirring and well worth reading), but I'm not under estimating the IDF either. They have the advantage in the Southeastern Med.

        • Fatmanisaturd

          yes Pakistanis, Turks and Afghans are not Arabs but they're still Muslims which makes them inherently inferior. Just look at the shit holes they live in.

        • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/jaythehistorian jaythehistorian

          You are beyond stupid. Can 200 Taliban take on 500 Nukes. You need to buy yourself a brain on Ebay.

          • Andi

            How you use these 500 nukes dude when they will start on the streets of tel Aviv , use some brain or buy it from Afghanistan, as for i know yesterday 10 NATO soldiers died in Afghanistan. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/08/world/asia/08ka

  • http://samsonblinded.org/news adah@israel

    the whole world is against israel and its almost impossible to prove that we are innocent. israel had good relations with turkey for a long time, then it just got worse and now it seems according to the turkey plan they decided to begin warmer relations with our neigbors and to stop diplomatic friendship with israel…pity..

  • ViewPoint

    It was evident that Turkey had thrown its "ally" Israel to the Arab wolves 8 months ago when it revoked Israel's annual drill invitation. The Flotilla incident was a setup to accelerate Ahmadinejad's plan to destroy Israel. They had every opportunity to deliver the humanitarian aid without defying and jeopardizing Israel's security, but doing so would have denied them the confrontation and excuse they so eagerly desire.

  • ViewPoint

    Adah, I didn't mean to cast a thumbs down vote on your post, I tried to undo it. Also, the whole world is not against Israel… the Flotilla videos help Israel and expose the culprits. Many continue to pray for Israel. God bless Israel.

    • http://intensedebate.com/people/Rifleman Rifleman

      I hit the wrong button on occasion myself.

    • http://cakmaligtivi.blogspot.com cnsy

      Allah is near the oppressed and the poor. The wanton killing of innocent babies or rape is not near seekers. I'm praying for you, God you do not see the light in your eyes, your heart does not ache to give mercy. That they do Israel will pay a very heavy, Turkey and the Muslims should not underestimate anyone !

      • xman

        It is Islam that is the biggest killer. A killer of infidels and Muslims alike. Your barbaric cult stones to death women on trumped up charges of adultery, and forces schoolgirls back into their blazing school building, resulting in 15 of them being burned to death. That is Islam – a death cult that is barbaric, bigoted, antisemitic, backward, wicked, intolerant, unprogressive, mendacious, malevolent, evil, murderous, primitive, trerrorist-breeding, parasitical and of no use to man nor beast.

  • Kim Bruce

    I think Turkey needs another Mustafa Kemal Atatürk to oust this ass hat and turn Turkey around.

  • Kim Bruce

    Sorry, I take that back. Atatürk was probably responsible for the Armenian genocide.

    • whoever

      No , that is not the case, he gave equal right to all minorities, he fought with fanatism, and Islamism
      the guilt of Armenian Genocide rests on Otoman Empire, and its Khaliphate, period.
      read the wikipeida, history of Turkey
      Ataturk ( Mustafa Kamal Pasha ) was a great man, I hope we have more like him, all over middle east, and evreywhere, for all ethnicities.

      • xman

        Ataturk was responsible for the massacre of 200,000 Greeks in atrocities like Smyrna. Secular or otherwise Ataturk was a typical murderous infidel-hating Muslim. If only Jan Sobieski had got his wish off another round of Crusades after the Battle of Vienna in1683, aimed at destroying the Ottoman Empire and hopefully de-Islamising the place.

    • Contrarian

      As if you gave two hoots about the Armenians before the present fracas!

  • Ron Grant

    "and to align the country with the Islamic world – which means a collision course with America and, especially, with Israel."

    Perhaps,but it also presents a welcomed opportunity as a bridge between the Islamic world and ours.Again,Israel is not good at accepting criticism even when it comes from friends and allies.And these friends and allies are becoming fewer and far between.Muchiboy

    • New Yorker

      Boy do we need this stupid bridge?

    • New Yorker

      Alfred Dreyfus took the full measure of this type of "criticism" a little more than a century ago. But it looks like it is all happening right now. Don't try to sound too smart Ron Grant – these "friends" ain't worth a hole in my worn out sock.

    • bostonian

      Do you want bridge between islamic world and us. Then go to europe and see end result of it, and then go to saudi arabia to live for couple weeks, And if you like it than you all set.

      • Ron Grant

        We don't inhabit different planets here,even our continents are within hours of one another.The Islamic world is a BIG and influential part of this world,far bigger and more influential then Israel.It behooves us to reach out to the other side for understanding and compromise.Even when it fails,it is still the better strategy for world peace.And much preferable to war with so much destruction and suffering of innocents.Muchiboy

        • cochavi1

          It behooves me to call you out as the slimy appeaser that you are. People here are too easy on you, or, like me, they just don't want to waste their time and energy on your immoral non-sense.

        • Democracy First

          You've just inadvertently explained why Israel is so alone:

          "he Islamic world is a BIG and influential part of this world,far bigger and more influential then Israel"

          Exactly: 350 million Arabs with oil and oil trillions of dollars, along with 1.2 billion muslims in something like 85 Islamic nations, (and Europeans fishing for their Muslim votes while terrified of their potential for violence) have infinitely greater geopolitical influence than one tiny Jewish state.

          And useful idiots like yourself are co-opted into ganging up on this one tiny vulnerable state, motivated not only by by the lies and distortions, but also often – and perhaps very well in your case – by anti-Semitism.

    • brainlessgrant

      You are a complete IGNORAMUS. There is no bridging in Islam. There is no Friendship or allies. There is just convenience of non-hostility until YOU CAN BE DOMINATED. Muslims still complain about Obama even though he is on his knees when it comes to them. Why? Because he wont do EVERYTHING they want- like nuke Israel or join forces in a destroy Israel invasion.. Please you dunce read some history and familiarize yourself with Islam and Islamic thought before you spout your silly ignorant nonsense.

  • John

    Turkey is finally taking its rightful place in the world. First as a regional power and then, hopefully, an important world power. This is the dream of Ataturk. Ataturk saved Turkey for the Turks and now the Turks rise. Turkey is the most capable and most modern Muslim country in the world. It will achieve a lot with the help of Arab oil and further eastern know-hows from Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, etc.

    At this very moment, Turkey will not pick a real fight with Israel (as the Muslims and Christians terrorits hope for.) Turkey needs to build more. The Turkish Kurds are idiots if they hope to break apart from Turkey and join poor Kurdistan. Turkey will rise and so will Iran in their own respective terms. The rest of the the world will sit and complain as this happens. The is going to be a fundamental shift in world power and influences as Asia and South America (and in a way Africa) becomes the hub of economy rather than North America and Europe.

    • New Yorker

      Something tells me that it is not going to happen – at least not in the near future. South America will remain corrupt and unproductive just as it always was; Asia may act as a supplier of household goods for the West (where else are they going to export them?); and Africa will always be Africa. Turkey and Iran may continue to be the most "enlightened" entities in their respective neighborhoods because it does not take much to be a notch above the awful savagery that that neighborhood really is, provided of course that both societies are able to withstand the unholy pressures of the "religion of peace" which may mercilessly drag them down to the level of their immediate neighbors. But perhaps – and I sincerely hope that it happens sooner rather than later – there are capable and sane people still left in Turkey who as of this very moment are getting ready to hang Mr. Erdogan and his esteemed collegues now in power by the balls from the huge gallows that will be built for that very purpose on a Bosphorus shore.

    • cochavi1

      Enjoy your fantasy. Turkey is a mess. Without tourism which it is now killing off its economy will keep declining. The concept that Iran is actually going to control the ME is laughable. The best that Iran can do, together with its enablers – currently including, at face value, large parts of the Obama Admin- is perhaps cause a war that results in the deaths of hundreds of thousands (mostly Iranians), the disruption of oil supplies and more. The 'superpower' of the Middle East is in fact Israel. How do we know this? The Arabs, including the Saudis, are willing to cooperate with us against just this Iranian-Turkish Axis.

      What the Turks have really done is to help dilute the level of Arab hatred and hostility to Israel. They have reminded the Arabs of the Ottoman rule. They have boosted the Arab fear of Iran, given that the Arabs (excluding Syria and Hizbollaized Lebanon) now can fear this Iranian-Turkish axis.

      What Erdogan is doing is simply attempting, literally, to destroy modern Turkey. This is his choice and the choice of all the Islamist Turks who support him (those that do).

      Your idiocy is duly noted.

  • xman

    Yep, if it does anything, the Turkish navy will also take its rightful place in the world – holed like a sieve and lying on the sea bed in the Mediterranean.

    • Ron Grant

      "Yep, if it does anything, the Turkish navy will also take its rightful place in the world – holed like a sieve and lying on the sea bed in the Mediterranean."

      The ANZAC forces had a somewhat different experience and opinion of the Turks at Gallipoli. Muchiboy

      • fatmanisaturd

        yes Dumbass but they lost the war didn't they? such stupid comment anyway as this is not ANZAC in Galipoli, the thread is about the Turks sending THEIR navy dipshit

      • xman

        The ANZACS weren't facing the Turkish Navy in a sea battle, dumbass. They were fighting on land, something the Israelis won't be doing against the Turks. Of course, the Israelis will batter your precious evil Tiurks, but than agiain, it comes natural for an evil person to side with evil, doesn't it, blockhead?

    • Enlightenment

      Israel's 'Civilian Murder Force" (CMF) A.K.A "IDF" is no match for the illustrious Turkish Fighting Machine!

      The CMF has proven itself to be an expert on massacering defenseless civilians with weapons donated by the US and occassionally battle rag-tag Arab street gangs.

      The Zionist Terrorists destroyed the 500 year old Turkish Goodwill often resulting in a helping hand to the Jewsih people in need in one stroke.

      The undeclared Terrorist State of Israel is now on its own with ABSOLUTELY NO FRIENDS in the region! Perhaps it is time to start the final countdown?

  • Guest

    Just because Erdogan opposes Israel's policies and actions, it doesn't make him an anti-Semitic president or terrorist. It is ignorant to think that everyone have to approve Israel's policies or else they are marked as anti-Semites. He was the only brave politician to stand against Israel and say enough is enough. Ever since, Turkey has become Israel's victim of propaganda. The latest events acted as an eye-opener all around the world not only Turkey.

    • brainlessgrant

      hey DUMBASS sending a flotilla of TERRORISTS to interfere in a BLOCKADE that is LEGAL and does NOT CONCERN TURKEY is not simply "opposing" Israel policies its HOSTILITY. what kind of bullshit are you swallowing? Oh I get it… you probably get your news from the same place where they teach you that Mohammed only "Opposed" the Jews in Khaibar. DUMBSHIT.

    • Democracy First

      He`s an Islamist. And his Islamist alliance with Iran undermines your suggestion that he is merely opposed to Israel`s policies. Rather, he`s opposed to israel, period, motivated by Islamic supremacist imperatives.

  • Jaleh

    Oh, come on! At least try to make this objective, will you? A Turkish ship was attacked in international waters. Turkish citizens were killed. Any Turkish government would be screaming bloody murder. And that photo. You'd think Taliban had taken over Turkey. There is nothing wrong with finding fault with the present Turkish government, but that has nothing to do with the ad hominem argument of this article which is that the Turkish pm and pres are Muslim, which means they can never be reasonable, which means that their fury at having their ship attacked in international waters with Turkish (and other) casualties has to be unreasonable.

    This is five minutes of my life I'll never get back. Damn. Now mark me down. Please.

  • Democracy First


    A deliberate attempt to run a blockade is an act of war. This Turkish led mission was, tragically, therefore a military move against Israel.

    As the videos make clear, while the other ships were peaceful, and no violence ensued when Israeli commandos landed on their decks, one was different. It was manned by seething, ragingly hateful Islamists – who have subsequently been tied to Islamist groups. Their purpose was not aid – and so they refused to allow their "aid" to be transported from Israel. Instead, they wanted to break the blockade to open up arms shipments to the Hamas terrorist state, hell bent on destroying the only rights respecting democracy in the ME.

    This article is entirely objective. Frankly, it is you who is not.

    • Jaleh

      That the ship was full of crazy terrorists is highly questionable; IDF is the source for that, and IDF's reporting when it comes to this situation has been dubious, to put it mildly. According to reports from the ship, IDF opened fire before landing, and opening fire at all on a ship carrying humanitarian aid in international waters, a member of a flotilla carrying Nobel prize winners and European mps, a ship carrying the Turkish flag, is unwise. What did they gain by this action other than more Gaza aid flotillas by far less friendly nations than Turkey, a furious a former ally (Turkey), further lowering in international opinion?

      What Israel did is impolitic to a self-destructive extent.

  • http://podzemlje.net Muslim4ever

    Isreal just wants to be deleted from the map… :) and Iran or turkey will do that for them.

    • xman

      Iran and Turkey will themselves be deleted from the map and turned into glass sheets a mile thick if they do anything to Israel, and the Kaaba will be vaporised.

      • dumdum

        one tiny ping pong type nuke will be enough to wipe the shit of earth israel from the map of the world, i think it is enough for you rat .

    • Yasar

      Israel is an "Undeclared Terrorist State of the worst kind" for having made a habit of murdering unarmed civilians! However the dumb Zionists made a possibly fatal mistake this time by spilling the blood of unarmed Turkish Nationals whose society had helped out Jews in need throughout history!

      Israel is finished for Turks Sceular and Pious alike and the ZIonist ENtity may have drawn the longest nail into its own coffin to date as the Microscopic Zionist Terrorist Nation cannot survive Turkey's wrath in the long run!

      With half the population of Istanbul and a rag-tag militia which can only murder unarmed civilians Israel's cowardly IDF is 'NO MATCH' for the Glorious Turkish Armed Forces … Have fun with your final count-down Zionist Criminals!

  • Darrell

    Soon the Turkish army must overthrow the present islamist government in Ankara and restore Turkey to a livable state!

    • Yasar

      As a Staunchly Secular Turk may I reminde you that Turkey is a Parliamentary Democracy which yields to public's desire politically! … there shall be no military interference although we love our military and Turkey shall continue on its path as an economic powerhouse and the dominant power in the ME!

  • http://civilizationsofthreemagi.blogspot.com/ Hamma Mirwaisi

    Turkey will face defeat in Kurdistan
    I not believe that Ataturk, Islamist or extern nationalist will solve Turkey problem anymore. The Turk of Turkey was successful for hundred of years because other nations supported them especially Kurds. Turks of Turkey are enemies of Arab, Iranian, Armenian, Greek and others around them. No one can rescue them form the wars they created starting with.
    Turks of Turkey should recognize Kurdish independent immediately to survive in the region. They should join Kurds in an Airyanem (Iranian) Economic Union instead embarking on the war solutions for the problem only Turks created for themselves.
    It is the God wishes that the Medes (Kurds) will return. Turk of Turkey will be defeated soon because no one can stop God wishes.
    Read my book the “Return of the Medes” for farther understanding what is going to happen in Middle East.
    I believe PKK should lead Iranian people liberations first and then fight Turks of Turkey.
    The establishment of an “Airyanem (Iranian) Economic Union” from Pakistan to Turkey and from Kurdistan to former Soviet Union countries is the best peaceful solutions instead of war.
    AKP is wrong in their wars. Religion and Politics should be separated.
    PM of Turkey is no different from Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) both Islamist are hungry for blood, they are in business to kill more people. Kill, kill and kill are their solutions for any problem facing them.
    Religion dictators are brain less. Europe killed million’s of their own before they got civilized.
    The killing will generate more killing. Turks will be defeated for sure in this unjust war.

    • Mapiro

      Don't you people read real history? Crusaders were killing not only muslims but the Jews and Christchians as well. They sacked Constantinopol twice and burned it. They killed thousands of its people. The Greeks, Serbs, Macedonians were also some of their suporters needs to learn what happened from historians.

      Armanians must open their archives and have the historians should look at and decide what realy had happened. instead of few politicians and writers wanted to make a quick buc. I wish there were more Ataturk in the world to lead. It is too bad that there was only one. Good thing is that he was leader of the Republic of Turkey. The Turks should be proud of it.

    • Yasar

      Too bad there is NO 'Kurdistan' nor has there ever been a country or region by the name of 'Kurdistan'? … You are clealy misinformed or ill-informed at best!

      The Turkish Security Forces have been fighting a separatist terrorist pest called the PKK, just about completely finished, which does not represent Turks of Kurdish origin who have served as Prime Ministers government officials in high positions etc

      There was NEVER a Kurdistan in human history and contrary to the wishes of the Imperialists manipulating Foolish Kurs there shall never be such a separate entitt in the future!

  • Mapiro

    Reply to Hamma Mirwaisi,
    My father was a Turkish officer and mother was a Kurd. I am proud of being a Turkish citizen. How quick the Middle Eastern Arabs, Kurds as well as Greek Orthodox people and the church forgot the protection they received from Seljuk and Ottoman Turks against crusaders for centuries. During Ottoman era the Kurds lived in piece and mixed with Turks.
    Some became presidents, prime ministers, high ranking generals, politicians and rich businessman. There is lots of Kurdish congressman in Turkish congress.
    The Turks came from central Asia and occupied the Anatolia for more than 1000 years. This is a very long time. Nobody can tell the Turks to go back to central Asia and leave the Eastern Turkey to Kurds and Armenians. Will America leave California, Texas to Mexicans? There is a saying in America. "Love it or leave it" So the Kurds who doesn't like the Turks and doesn't want to live in Turkey, they can go to Northern Irak and live with their brothers and Arabs. Let us not forget that during Golf War almost 2 million Kurds came over the border to Turkey to seek protection.

  • Mapiro

    Turkish and go to school in order to get good jobs. Like in America, Mexicans who does not speak English always have low income and they are all poor. Only jobs they can have are to cut grass and wash dishes. America made a big mistake in California hanging Spanish signs all over the place. Since there were few signs around to help them out, they didn't need to learn English. Well they didn't go anywhere. They are still poor and cutting grass and washing dishes. Spending all the war against PKK, the countries’ resources are getting waste. Instead of building schools, roads and hospitals, we are spending too much money to fight with PKK. Lives and money are getting wasted.

  • Mapiro

    As a Kurd mother she finished middle school in Turkey in 1935. My dad and she put all her three kids through high education. I became an electrical engineer and found a job in America and living here for 40 years.
    So like all other minorities, we all need to live together in piece in Turkey. We can still keep our heritage, language, culture and make a good happy living. If as Kurds, we don't want to do that, then we need to go somewhere else and live. 1000 years is a very long time for Kurds or any other minorities to ask a piece of a land from the Turks.
    As I am writing this, I am also listening Kurdish song by Seher Dilovan who is Kurdish.
    Ataturk said “Piece at home, piece in the world”

    • http://www.returnofthemedes.com/ Hamma Mirwaisi

      Most of the people in Turkey are thinking like you. Turkey is not USA. USA is unique country, most of the people are immigrant and they have the laws in opposite of Turkey.
      I am proposing the establishment of an “Economic Union” from Pakistan to Turkey and from Kurdistan to former Soviet Union countries with independent for each nation and sub-nation within the union.
      Turks of Turkey’s war against the Kurdish people will be defeated. Turkey is losing its resources without reason. You can work for peace with justice for Kurd. Your mother did not tech very well.

      Read my book to understand the Kurdish civilizations and try to be civilized and see the pain and suffering of Kurdish nation.

  • Samir S. Halabi

    Turkey should never be amitted into the EEC, they have now shown their true colors.
    Many of peace demonstrators on the Mavi-Marmara were plainly agitators who wanted nothing more than a confrontation with the Israeli's whom they hate as they are islamists, and belong to the new generation of Jew-hating scum ajust like their leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan the Prime Minister of The Republic of Turkey, or should I say "The New Islamic Republic of Turkey" Under the old premiership of Turkey those responible for troublemaking on the Mavi-Marmara would have been tried and incarcerated as terrorists, however under the guidance of the pro-islamist Erdogan regime these trouble makers have now become heroes, The nine dead islamists deserved their fate, they can now enjoy their 72 virgins each in hell

  • Yasar

    Israel, the "Undeclared Terrorist State" turned on Turkey forgetting how tiny and insignificant microscopic Israel is … by murdering ten unarmed Turkish Activists in International Waters.

    Therefore the greatest threat to peace in the ME; the Suicidal Zionist State of Israel drew the biggest nail into her own coffin as Turks are united Secular and Pious alike in their disgust of the warmongering murderous Israel.

    The economic and military powerhouse Turkey shall from now on distate policy in the ME with the little mouse Israel as the 'spectator' hated by every state!

    Israel with half the population of Istanbul comsisting of a thin strip of land stolen from Palestinians may have signed her 'death sentence' by antagonizing the Turks and at the same time having destroyed the fabled 500 year olf Turkish goodwill and helping hand toward Jewish people.

    The War Criminal leadership of 'Deslusional Zionists' Bibi should be judged by 'sane secular Israelis' and thrown into jail for having committed the gravest crime against his own country.

    After all the inept Zionists should have remembered Turkey as the first muslim country to recognize 'illegitimate Israel'

  • Levo

    Wrong headline as it is not Turkey who turned against Israel but rather it is the "Murderous Undeclared Zionist Terrorist State of Israel" who massacred ten unarmed Turkish Citizens and committed yet another violation of International Law in attacking the Civilian Flotilla in International Waters! Get your perspective straight as nobody buys the delusional Zionist propaganda any longer.

  • Levo

    Israel is the greatest threat to 'World Peace' as long as her population succumbs to Racist Megalomaniac and determinedly Delusional Zionist Ideology!!! Sooner or later the shoe box-sized Israel shall initiate yet another great war inwhich Turkey may get involved which would mean Israel would be utterly destroyed PERIOD

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  • Abriskil

    How biased, and naive.
    If Turkey wants a military confrontation with anyone, including Russia, it just would, evident in Cyprus. But it will never make war for Palestine.
    I do not believe Erdogan is sincere about Israel, he carrots and sticks to a militarist Israeli government. Else why isnt there any economic sanctions? Don't let them use your airspace and ports, this will force Arabs to do the same. Virtually isolate that murderous regime. On the contrary Turkey does play a role which is written by DC, to hammer Iran influence in the area. Arabs should wary this is just another imperialist trick for them to stay seperated.