vrijdag 4 juni 2010

It’s Not About the Flotilla: Turkey Changed Sides Years Ago

Israel-Turkey relations have gone from alliance to the verge of war because the West pretended an Islamist government could be benign.

June 3, 2010- by Barry Rubin

The foolish think the breakdown is due to the recent Gaza flotilla; the naïve, who pass for the sophisticated experts, attribute the collapse to the December 2008-January 2009 Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.

Such conclusions are totally misleading. The relationship breakdown was already clear — and in private every Israeli expert dealing seriously with Turkey said so — well over two years ago: the cause was the election in Turkey of an Islamist government.

Turkey’s AK Party government has not permitted a single new military contract with Israel since it took office. The special relationship was over then.

Turkey needed Israel as an ally when a secular government in Ankara regarded Iran, Syria, and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq as its main threats. Once there was a government which regarded Iran and Syria as its closest allies, Israel became a perceived enemy.

When the Turkish armed forces were an important part of the regime, they saw Israel as a good source for military equipment and an ally against Islamists and radical Arab regimes. But once the army was to be suppressed, its wishes were a matter of no concern. Depriving it of foreign allies was a goal of the AK Party government.

Pajamas Media