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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Israel's cold war with Turkey

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero and Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos tried to convince Prime Minister Netanyahu to accept Turkish mediation between Israel and Syria. Perhaps they spoiled their credibility by claiming that the Syrians actually want peace (something no Israeli Jew believes). But they walked away with their hats in hand. Netanyahu wants nothing to do with the Turks.
The tensions became a major issue during a meeting between Netanyahu and his visiting Spanish counterpart, Jose Luis Zapatero. During the meeting, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos told Netanyahu that the Turks "will fall in line" if they serve as mediator between Israel and Syria.

Netanyahu said he objects to Turkey resuming its role as mediator and does not see how the country can become "an honest broker" between the two sides.
Netanyahu is not alone.
“I estimate that the Israeli boycott on Turkey this time will actually work,” tourism expert Yossi Barel of the College for Administration told Army Radio on Sunday. “Feeling against Turkey is much stronger than last time, and we will be seeing a significant drop in flights for a very long time, and the Turks will have to work very hard to get us back.”

Danny Simmet, Vice President of the Israel-Turkey Relations Council, agrees: “The picture is blacker than black,” he said.

A host of companies have already canceled their workplace junkets to Turkey over the past few days, tourism operators report.

The Globes site reports that its internet poll on the topic produced unambiguous results. Out of 4,213 respondents, 84% said they would “absolutely not” return to Turkey, while 5% said they “certainly would” return. 11% said they’re not sure yet.
What nobody is telling you is that the biggest tourist attraction that Turkey holds for Israelis is ... casinos. There are lots of other casinos in Europe. I'd look for places like Croatia, Slovenia and Cyprus to pick up a lot of that crowd along with another push for a casino in Eilat.

I doubt most Israelis will return to Turkey anytime soon.

Yes, that's the Turkish resort town of Antalya at the top (which used to be super-popular with Israelis) and no, I have never been there (or anyplace else in Turkey other than the airport).


At 12:07 AM, Blogger Joe said...

It's a shame that the country is becoming more isolated geographically all the time...we're literally the only bright spot for miles in all directions.

At 12:14 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Turkey decided to burn its bridges with the West and Israel and move closer to the Syrians and the Iranians. Israel is not going to seek the good offices of a country unreservedly hostile to it. And that's the silver lining in the breakdown of the relationship with Ankara.

Israel will not be coming down from the Golan Heights any time soon.

At 12:38 AM, Blogger Shawarma said...

I thought they closed all the Casinos in Turkey a while back - for some 'un-islamic' nonsense.


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