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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Report: Turkey dispute not about Gaza after all

A Turkish newspaper is reporting that Turkey canceled Israeli participation in a multi-national military exercise last week because it was angry over a late delivery of an order of unmanned aerial vehicles. This contrasts with previous reports that the dispute was over Gaza.
The Turkish official told Today's Zaman that the deal struck between Israel and Turkey was supposed to involve a shipment of Israeli-made spy drones, known as Herons, to Turkey, but that the shipment did not arrive on time.

"Turkey needs those vehicles in its fight against terror. What led to the recent crisis between Turkey and Israel was the delay in the delivery," the official said.

Several years ago, Turkey signed a deal to purchase 10 Herons from Israel Aerospace Industries and Elbit for a sum of $180 million. Israeli media reported that Turkey was considering scrapping the deal when Israel failed to meet production deadlines, but Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said in May that Turkey would not break the contract. The Israeli company later announced that it would deliver four Herons in August, followed by another two and then the last four by the end of October.

The Turkish army has yet to use two of the 10 drones, which arrived in Turkey last November after an almost two-year delay, due to persistent technical problems, the Turkish paper reported.

The report went on to quote Turkish government spokesperson and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek as saying that a proposal for the cancellation of the drill came from the General Staff as a response to yet another delay in the delivery of the Israeli UAVs to Turkey. "The proposal for cancellation came from the General Staff, not the government. However, there was no disagreement between the two bodies on the decision," Cicek was quoted as saying.
I don't buy this. It doesn't fit with Erdogan's statements about Gaza, it doesn't explain why they're holding exercises with Syria and if it were true, the Turkish government would have said so earlier.

There's too much bad blood between Israel and Turkey in the last year for this to be the explanation. No.


At 1:01 PM, Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

and how many kurds has turkey murdered?

At 3:31 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Agreed. Would Turkey cancel an important military exercise over a late arms delivery? That is just childish. I don't buy it.

The truth is quite simple: Turkey has decided to draw closer to Israel's enemies and move away from its once close ties to the Jewish State.


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