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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Schizophrenia in Turkey

In Turkey, the right hand apparently has no clue what the left is doing. This is actually not surprising given the tensions between the Islamist government and the secular army.

The army apparently provided Israel with intelligence that the IAF used in the September 6 strike against a Syrian military facility along the Turkish border. Meanwhile, the politicians were 'demanding an explanation' from Israel.
Turkey provided Israel with intelligence on Syria prior to last week's alleged IAF flyover into the country, Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida claimed on Thursday.

According to the report, the country had a central role in delivering precise information regarding targets in Syria that were to be hit by Israeli planes. Further, the report claimed that the Israeli pilots were given authorization by the Turkish army to use its airspace in order to carry out the operation.

Sources told Al-Jarida that Turkish intelligence did not coordinate the move with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "Coordination of the [release of information] occurred far away from the political echelon," it said.

The Israeli and Turkish armies share a strong relationship that has been felt through several joint exercises and weapons sales.
I'd bet that Erdogan knew and is keeping quiet to avoid offending his Arab allies. He likely went along because he's not strong enough to take on his own army, which has been whispering about coups since Turkey also elected an Islamist President.


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