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Friday, September 09, 2011

Apologize? Erdogan called Israel a terror organization in May 2004

If any of you still thinks it's possible to go back and reconcile with Turkey, please consider this:
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, along with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, can take credit for the deteriorating ties between our countries. Erdogan has destabilized relations with Israel by employing the same skill he used to rehabilitate Turkey's economy. At least he's consistent.

“I don't see any difference between Israel and a terrorist organization,” Erdogan has been quoted as saying. He didn't say this in the presence of President Shimon Peres at Davos in 2009, the venue where he launched his unrestrained campaign of vilification against Israel. He said it in May 2004, as a freshly elected prime minister voicing harsh criticism of Israel Defence Forces actions in Rafah. Erdogan actually understands a thing or two about terrorism. He is so well-versed, in fact, that he knows the difference between the Kurdish rebel PKK organization, which has to be crushed, and Hamas, which deserves to be defended.

Those who believe Israel should have apologized even if it meant a risk to ourselves need to be reminded that there is such a thing as national honor. In the Middle East, this notion carries particular weight.

Those who called for an Israeli apology are apparently misreading the regional map. What can we do? We are not living in good times. We've gone from Ben Gurion's alliance of the periphery -- a strategy of forming alliances with countries on the periphery of the Arab world, like Turkey and Iran -- to an alliance of bullies. Two historical superpowers, Persia and the Ottoman Empire (Iran and Turkey) have decided in recent years to flex their muscles at our expense.
This break was inevitable.

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At 1:54 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Hi Carl,

When I watched Erdogan lay into Shimon Peres at Davos a few years I knew there was trouble ahead in this relationship. I'm not surprised that it goes back even further. The man is dangerous.

Recently Wikileaks reported that an Israeli diplomat, Gabby Levy, had stated that Erdogan is a "fundamentalist" whose problem with Israel is religious, and the US concurred.



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