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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Joint military exercise in Turkey canceled

On Saturday night, I reported that Turkey had refused to participate in a joint military exercise with Israel. The reason Turkey gave was that Israel would be using the same planes that had bombed Gaza during Operation Cast Lead (do we have any others?).

On Sunday, the United States and Italy opted out of the exercise - known as Anatolian Eagle - altogether leading to its cancellation. The exercise was an annual event.

Here's a video of what is probably the 2006 version of the exercise with Turkish F-16's chasing Israeli F-16's. If you click through to the comments, you will see that over the last several months there are claims that it's Greek jets and not Israeli jets (I don't believe the Turks train against the Greeks - they are enemies).

Let's go to the videotape.


Haaretz adds:
Foreign Ministry sources said that Turkish military officials had approached the Israel Defense Forces recently with a surprising demand that Israel refrain from participating in the drill, due to the IDF's activity in Gaza. Israeli inquiries on the matter with the Turkish foreign ministry were met with evasive responses.

In light of the Turkish demands, Israel approached U.S. officials stressing that this is an unusual move, which violates the understandings regarding Israel's participation in NATO drills, like the drill in question. Consequently, the U.S. and Italy withdrew their participation from the drill in protest, which led to the cancellation of the entire drill.


Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's cancelled his visits to Israel recently after Israel denied his request to visit the Gaza Strip from Israeli territory.

Davutoglu had been invited to take part in the Presidents' Conference, which is scheduled to take place in a few weeks in Jerusalem.

Israeli officials' feared in regard to the visit is that if Davutoglu goes to Gaza, it will become a festive event for Hamas and it will become a media circus with the Turkish FM staying amidst the rubble of buildings destroyed by the IDF during Cast Lead. Officials suspected Davutoglu would also be encouraged to make anti-Israel statements.

Davutoglu was appointed foreign minister only recently, and has sought a role in future peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
Let's just say that role is unlikely.


At 11:49 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

It seems that Israeli military cooperation with Turkey will be on the ice for a long time to come. The only country harmed by the cancellation of Anatolian Eagle is Turkey itself.

At 4:20 AM, Blogger Kae Gregory said...

Palestinians, Egypt, Turkey, taking more radical positions on Israel. Syria ingratiating itself with Obama and Iran and her radical allies thumbing their nose at him.
Obama's walk softly and carry a wet noodle doctrine, intended or otherwise, has created an opening for Israel's historical enemies and they are taking it.
I look for Obama to redouble his efforts to apply pressure on Israel as Arab belicosity increases.


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