Under perhaps the pretext of defending Turkey from ISIS, Turkish Prime Minister, now President Recept Tayyip Erdogan appears to have methodically trounced basic western values in the maintenance of open responsible and responsive governance.
When this past June ISIS took control of Turkey’s embassy in Mosul, Iraq, which site it today uses for its headquarters, and kept hostages, then Prime Minister Erdogan ordered coverage of the matter kept out of the state’s news: whatever was to happen, Turks would not be able to follow it in a free press.
When ISIS then “offered” (or ordered, for this matter also appears dark) ISIS oil in exchange for Turkish cash, it appears then Prime Minister Erdogan accepted the offer (which perhaps he could not refuse, either for defensive purposes or patently offensive ones — i.e., perhaps nothing beats hiding a venal intent behind one’s own hostages).
In the matter of NATO radar defense arrangements in Turkey, then Prime Minister Erdogan whined across months that the same not be used to protect Israel (“the only democracy in the” yada-yada and once robust trading and defense partner with Turkey).
Finally, and with unmistakable reference to anti-Semitism, now President Erdogan has refused Israel an oil pipeline westward.
While Turkey may wish to look strong as a Muslim-majority state and reliable as a NATO partner, anti-Semitism itself has a reputation as a great deflector of attention away from mediocrity and weakness.
Turkey’s discomfort with NATO and its pro-Semitic western stance comes through its lax border control, which it is now being asked to address, its battering relationship with the Jewish State, and its perhaps compliant position with the Islamic State — and saying it ain’t so won’t prove it ain’t so as now President Erdogan perhaps walks down both a familiar and increasingly lonely road. He may feel enlarged, as autocrats do, by the “narcissistic supply” arranged through deflection and cultivated with pandering, but as that story grows large too in the chaos and disruption it engenders, it never ends well for the host.
When ISIS took Turkish photojournalist Bunyamin Aygun hostage in 2013, he said the militants repeatedly told him “Turkey is next.” After the first few weeks of his detainment, he was transferred to an ISIS brigade made up of mostly Turks. “They rained curses on Erdogan, and Davutoglu, saying they were ‘infidels,’” Aygun told al-Monitor. “They claimed that if Turkey sealed the border gates that were under IS control they would hit one Turkish village after the other and trigger a civil war inside Turkey.”
Since Turkey’s 49 consulate staff and their family members were taken hostage in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on June 11, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has taken all measures to keep the public in the dark on the issue.
Mahmut Tanal, a lawmaker from the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), told The Daily Beast he was trying to get an official government comment on reports saying that ISIS was exporting up to 4,000 tons of fuel to Turkey every day and earning $15 million every month from the trade. “I am expecting some answers here,” he said.
“For energy projects to proceed, the human tragedy in Gaza will have to be stopped and Israel will have to instate a permanent peace there with all elements,” Yildiz told reporters in Ankara, referring to the recent counter-terror Operation Protective Edge.
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/184930#.VBBOQcJdV8E -“Turkey Refuses to Transfer ‘Inhumane’ Israeli Gas to Europe” – 9/9/2014.
An 18-vehicle convoy was dispatched to the Tomb of Suleiman Shah to rotate the troops and resupply. The convoy entered Syria from the YPG-controlled Kobani and returned via ISIS-controlled Jarablus. A Syrian Kurdish source told Al-Monitor that, as per the accord reached with the officials of the “Kobani canton” who recently visited Turkey, the YPG provided security to the Turkish army convoy while passing through Kurdish-controlled area. According to this source, the convoy was stopped by ISIS in Cadde village, three kilometers [two miles] from the tomb, after it left the Kurdish area. Since official sources kept mum on what transpired at Cadde and along the way, speculation grew.
Needless to say, if Obama would find an enthusiastic NATO ally in his quest to construct a coalition to deal with IS, his attitude toward his Turkish counterpart might be different. Yet, Turkey’s reluctance in taking part in the efforts led by the United States against IS is also confirmed by Turkey’s media outlets following the Erdogan-Obama meeting.
* * *
(Reuters) – Turkey has accepted assurances a planned NATO missile defense system in which it is playing a part is not designed to protect Israel as well, the alliance’s deputy secretary-general said on Wednesday.
Alexander Vershbow said objections by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s government had resulted in part from confusion about a Turkish-hosted NATO radar. Ankara had been further assuaged by alliance Patriot anti-missile batteries assigned to protect its territory from Syria.
Turkey has opposed Israel’s participation in NATO exercises. Officials said Ankara was abandoning plans to improve relations with Israel.
“Normalization with Israel is a fantasy,” Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc said.
* * *
Yet something was different this time around. Something to do with the intensity and audacity of displays of anti-semitism, and the not so covert official backing they received, which was one of the talking points of the recent meeting between U.S. President Obama and Turkish President Erdoğan who discussed, according to the statement by the NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden “the importance of … combating the scourge of anti-Semitism,” among other things.
* * *
Brothers in Arms
Some major Israeli arms contracts with Turkey
1997: $632 million order for Israel to outfit Turkish F4E Phantom aircraft with advanced avionics.
1998: $90 million order for Israel to provide AGM-1 and Popeye-1 missiles for the upgraded Phantoms.
2002: $687.5 million deal to upgrade Turkey’s M60-A1 tanks to Israeli Sabra-3 version, the last of which was delivered in April.
2005: $183 million deal to provide 10 Heron drones.
Note: All contracts completed except drones, which are being delivered. Source: Serdar Erdurmaz, Turkish Center for International Relations and Strategic Studies
* * *
# # #