Surprise: Erdogan goes back on his word
As part of his conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on Friday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to restore diplomatic relations with Israel and to drop the trial of four former IDF officers over the Mavi Marmara incident. I'm sure you'll all be shocked to hear that Erdogan is reneging
on those promises.
Erdogan said Saturday it was too early to cancel legal steps against Israeli soldiers who took part in the raid on the Mavi Mamara.
According to the Hurriyet daily, Erdogan also
said the exchange of ambassadors between Israel and Turkey would not
take place immediately.
will see what will be put into practice during the process. If [the
Israelis] move forward in a promising way, we will make our
contribution. Then, there would be an exchange of ambassadors,” Erdogan
was quoted as saying, in remarks at an opening ceremony for a high-speed railway line in the central Turkish province of Eskişehir.
Erdogan said that, in the past, Israel had
“expressed regret several times, refusing to offer a formal apology”
over the killings of nine Turkish citizens of the Marmara in 2010 — the
incident that led to the freezing of Israeli-Turkish ties. However,
Ankara had “insisted on an apology,” he said.
That apology had finally been delivered by
Netanyahu on Friday, he said. “All our demands have now been met with
that apology which was offered the way we wanted,” Erdogan said in comments communicated by Today’s Zaman.
Netanyahu’s office had stated after the call
Friday that “The two men agreed to restore normalization between Israel
and Turkey, including the dispatch of ambassadors and the cancellation
of legal steps against IDF soldiers.”
Erdogan also announced plans to visit Gaza,
possibly next month. Hamas’s Gaza prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh,
calling Netanyahu’s apology “a diplomatic victory for Ankara,” confirmed
Erdogan would visit “in the near future,” and said this trip would mark
“a significant step to ending the political and economic blockade” of
the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
Erdogan told reporters that it wasn’t yet time
to talk about dropping the case in which four IDF generals stand
accused of war crimes over the incident. The indictment, prepared last
summer, sought ten aggravated life sentences for each officer ostensibly
involved in the 2010 raid — including former chief of the IDF General
Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and former head of military intelligence Amos
It will be interesting to see whether President Hussein Obama has the integrity to call his Best Friend Forever on the carpet for breaking his word. I wouldn't bet on it. But I do hope that Congress will take it up with President Obama.
Labels: Barack Hussein Obama, Binyamin Netanyahu, lies, Mavi Marmara, outrageous apologies, Recep Tayyip Erdogan