07 March '10
Yesterday I mentioned the phenomenon of Turkey, under the ‘moderate’ Islamist AKP party, distancing itself from Israel and the US. As part of the process, Turkish PM Erdoğan never misses an opportunity to attack Israel:
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday continued his verbal assault on Israel, according to Saudi paper Al Wattan, which quoted him as saying that that al Aksa Mosque, the Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel’s Tomb “were not and never will be Jewish sites, but Islamic sites…”
Speaking to Palestinian journalists, Erdoğan reportedly said, “Palestine [was] always at the top of Turkey’s priorities.” He expressed his support for the renewal of indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Donning a cloak of pan-Islamic identity, Erdoğan told Al Wattan that he “loves my brothers in Fatah and my brothers in Hamas to the same degree, because they are my Muslim brothers and I cannot distinguish between them.”
Israel in the past enjoyed a close collaboration with Turkey in military matters, but this has been reduced recently. It’s likely that if the AKP continues with its efforts to reduce the influence of the army (by arresting and prosecuting officers for treason), that this trend will continue.