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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Erdogan's blind ambition

Israel's counter-terrorism center has confirmed, via interviews with the passengers, that a group of 40 hard-core terrorists boarded the Mavi Marmara in Istanbul without being searched and took control of the boat's upper deck. It was these terrorists who battled Israeli soldiers last Monday. The 40 terrorists - all IHH operatives - boarded the boat with the encouragement and approval of Recip Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's Prime Minister. Erdogan's objective for the flotilla was a violent confrontation with Israel (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
1. An initial analysis of statements taken from passengers aboard the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara after it was towed to the port of Ashdod show that operatives belonging to the radical Islamic Turkish IHH1 led the violent confrontation with the IDF.

2. The statements confirmed that the violence met by the IDF soldiers was not spontaneous but rather an organized, premeditated action carried out by a hard core of 40 IHH operatives (among the 500 passengers). The operatives, who acted according to a clearly-defined internal hierarchy, boarded the ship in the port of Istanbul without undergoing a security inspection (as opposed to the other passengers, who boarded in Antalya after a full inspection).

3. The IHH operatives’ preparations included handing out walkie-talkies as they boarded the ship, taking over the upper deck, setting up a situation room for communications, and a briefing given to the operatives two hours before the confrontation by IHH head Bülent Yildirim, who was on board the ship and commanded his men. IHH operatives wore ceramic vests and gas masks, and were armed with large quantities of cold weapons which they had prepared from equipment found on board (knives, axes, metal cables, metal pipes used as clubs, wrenches, etc.). They were also equipped with box cutters which had been prepared on the upper deck in advance.

4. The passengers, including the IHH operatives, stated that there were close relations between the organization and Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and that the Turkish government was involved in preparations for the flotilla. The statements reinforce the original assassment that the objective of the flotilla was not merely to bring humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip, but focused on provocation and a violent confrontation with Israel.

5. According to statements from the passengers, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan maintains close contacts with IHH. The flotilla set sail with the full knowledge and agreement of Erdogan, who expressed personal interest in its success and his intention to exploit it promote his status in Turkey and the Arab-Muslim world. Passengers said that before the flotilla set sail, Prime Minister Erdogan constructed a scenario based on a possible confrontation with Israel which he could use to further his own needs. The statements were supported by descriptions found in files on laptop computers belonging to the passengers.

6. That was supported by a statement from a journalist who had good connections with the heads of the Turkish government and with Bülent Yildirim, head of IHH. The following are statements from the journalist, who was a passenger on the Mavi Marmara:
A. Prime Minister Erdogan’s power base is built on IHH activists. Without their help he could not have been elected prime minister.

B. The Turkish government was behind the flotilla to the Gaza Strip and its objective was to embarrass Israel: “The Turks set a trap for you and you fell into it.”

C. The flotilla was organized with the support of the Turkish government and Prime Minister Erdogan gave the instructions for it to set sail. That was despite the fact that everyone knew it would never reach its destination.

D. The affair of the flotilla strengthened Erdogan’s status in Turkey and turned him into the leader of Islamic world.

E. Three additional flotillas are expected to sail for Israel and the modus operandi will repeat itself.

F. The journalist stated he had visited the Gaza Strip as part of a humanitarian delegation and his impression was that there was no distress or lack [of commodities] in the Gaza Strip. He added that “everything is propaganda.”
7. In files found in laptops confiscated from Mavi Marmara passengers were other indications supporting the vast amount of information concerning the linkage between IHH and the Turkish government:
A. A letter written in Turkish was found from IHH head Bülent Yildirim to Turkish President Abdullah Gül, asking him to release an IHH operative named Izzat Shahin from an Israeli prison. [Note: Shahin is an IHH operative who was sent as an organization representative to Judea and Samaria. His main activity was transferring funds to Hamas “charitable societies.” He was detained for questioning in April 2010 and later deported at the request of Turkish officials.]

B. According to one file, IHH purchased the Mavi Marmara from a Turkish company called IDO (Filename IHH Basin Agiflamasi Gemi.com) [Note: The Turkish company IDO, Istanbul Deniz Otobusleri was founded in 1987 by the city of Istanbul to provide fast, convenient, safe transportation services for the residents of Istanbul. The company, the largest of its type in the world, united with City Line Ferry Services in 1995 and is today the main provider of water transportation in Istanbul and the Sea of Marmara.]

20. Eight of the nine operatives killed were identified during the questioning of the passengers as IHH operatives and volunteers. One of them was an IHH photographer. (The ninth person was not identified.)




1. The main points of a Mavi Marmara officer’s statement:

G. The IHH operatives used disks to saw the ship’s railing into metal rods. They also had steel rods they took from the lifeboats. After hearing the sound of the disks, the captain sent two officers to find out where it was coming from. They saw that the IHH operatives had brought disks on deck, contrary to the captain’s orders, and were using them to saw the ship’s railings into metal rods. They found three disks and confiscated them.

H. In retrospect it is obvious that the incident had been organized in advance. The officer claimed he neither sensed nor understood what was going on during the sea voyage because he kept his distance from the passengers.
And yet, this report from the New York Times (Hat Tip: Memeorandum) depicts Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan as a 'pragmatist.'
It is Mr. Erdogan’s confrontation with Israel, which he accused of “state terrorism” in the flotilla raid, that raised the loudest alarms for Americans. Many see his fiery statements as a sign that he has not only abandoned the quest to join the European Union, but is aligning himself with Islamic rivals of the West.

Yet, for years Mr. Erdogan encouraged closer ties with Israel, even taking a planeload of businessmen to Tel Aviv in 2005. While the relationship has deteriorated badly in recent years — with Mr. Erdogan lambasting Shimon Peres, the Israeli president, over the Israeli military’s tactics in the Gaza campaign — Jewish leaders in Istanbul say that it is more about Mr. Erdogan’s dislike of the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu than his view of Israel.

“The Jewish community in Turkey is not at all alarmed,” said Ishak Alaton, a prominent Jewish businessman in Istanbul. The tough talk, he said, is simply Mr. Erdogan’s style, an attempt to score points ahead of an election.

Mr. Erdogan, though a pragmatist, is also a devout Muslim, a category that was once the underdog in secular Turkish society, and sympathy for the Palestinians is ingrained. He is hotheaded, with a street fighter’s swagger that becomes more pronounced in crises. He took personal offense, for example, when Ehud Olmert, then Israel’s prime minister, began without warning the bombing of Gaza while Mr. Erdogan was mediating talks between Israel and Syria.

Shafeeq Ghabra, a political science professor at Kuwait University, argued that Turkey had stepped into a vacuum left by a failed peace process, and that it was trying to “save the Palestinians from becoming desperate again and save Israel from itself.”

That may be so, but Mr. Erdogan’s tough talk eliminates Turkey’s place at the table as a moderator with Israel, analysts said, and also boxes in the Obama administration, forcing it into a choice between allies that the Turks are sure to lose.
I disagree with Ghabra. Erdogan is a very ambitious man and his ambitions go beyond Turkey. He is attempting to set himself up as a hero to the Muslim world. The 'pragmatism' that he showed during his first term in office (2003-2007) was nothing but good old Muslim taqiyya. And with the hesitant Barack Obama - who fawns over Muslims - in office, Erdogan now has the perfect foil to advance his career.

What could go wrong? More here.


At 6:18 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I hope these allegations are put to paper and brought before various international bodies as they accuse Israel of heinous crimes against humanity. Not that doing this will result in anything good happening ... but it will get it into the public record. And this can be used to refute and destroy the "logical" underpinnings of any case against Israel.

What I see out in the US, apart from the bare naked antisemitism run rampant, are the people are starting to get that Israel is being demonized, delegitimized, and that this is an effort that has some pretty far reaching consequences.

The arabs couldn't imagine 30+ years ago that they would be fearful of the crops they sowed with islamic jew hatred, encouraging this for political purposes. Now these regimes, every one, is in danger from the islamists. You reap what you sow.

What are the consequences of what the EU, Asia, and US are now reaping? I expect many more lawsuits in the US from 'native' tribes, demanding a return of land, to the point that the US may no longer be a viable contiguous entity. After all, the UN, EU, and US are setting a precedent. I expect similar Balkanization the world over.

All because some idiots couldn't surpress their innate jew-hatred long enough to do the right thing by their people, and their country.

Turkey is just the latest manifestation of this jew hatred. Its always near the surface with arabs and islamists, as they are repeatedly and regularly shamed by the jews in Israel being as successful as they are, while the arabs and islamists are backwards and declining.

At 7:08 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The Turks want to compete with Iran to see who can lead the Islamic World. And somehow, Ahmedinejad is not happy to see Turkey steal the anti-Israel spotlight from Iran. This is the reassertion of a traditional conflict between the two chief Islamic rivals in the world that has been occurring for centuries. Iran has found its match in Turkey, the heir to the Ottoman Empire.


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