Erdogan faces US stick, clings to anti-Israel stance

See also
Erdogan bans Israel from airspace
US: Turkey must show commitment

DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 26, 2010

Turkish army blames Erdogan for setbacks against rebels

As he took off for the G20 summit opening in Toronto Saturday, June 26, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan came under an exceptionally acerbic US rebuke for a NATO member. He was accused of alienating the US and the West and told he needed to demonstrate Ankara’s commitment to their (NATO) partnership by Philip Gordon, top US diplomat on European affairs, in a clear rejection of the Turkish prime minister’s assertion in parliament Tuesday June 15: “There’s no shift in Turkey’s axis. Turkey is not a city state, it’s not a state on which agendas are imposed,” he said.

Taking Turkey to task for opposing the new UN sanctions on Iran and its anti-Israel rhetoric over the pro-Palestinian flotilla incident, the US official pointed out: “There are people asking questions about it in a way that is new, and that in itself is a bad thing that makes it harder for the United States to support some of the things that Turkey would like to see us support.”

The Turkish prime minister is also in hot water at home, according to our military sources. Before he flew to Canada, his generals, led by chief of staff Gen. Ilker Basbug, demanded that he publicly disavow his insinuations that Israel had a hand in the new Kurdish rebel offensive against the Turkish military. His campaign against Israel, they charged, had caused him to neglect the front against the Kurdish PKK rebels, as a result of which Turkish military deaths were rising. Since June 19, 18 soldiers and several civilians had died in eastern Turkey and Istanbul and 50 in the last two months.

Erdogan promised to consider issuing this disavowal but had not done so before his departure even though high-placed sources in Washington say it would have improved his prospects of seeing the US president and helped ease the frictions between Ankara and Jerusalem. Instead, he was treated to a cold shower from a high-placed US official over Ankara’s turn towards Tehran and its allies and campaign against Israel, instead of the certain prospect of a meeting with US President Barack Obama in Toronto.

Following his tour of the Kurdish-Iraqi front lines Sunday, June 20, the General Staff announced on Friday, June 25, that it will “professionalize the operational military forces serving at the borders in parallel with the process of professionalizing six commando brigades to counter terrorism.”

During that tour, Turkish military leaders warned their prime minister that by snidely accusing Israel – “We all know who is behind PKK attacks” – he is helping the rebel Kurdish Workers Party’s (PKK) cause and encouraging them to redouble their attacks on Turkish troops from their havens in the Qandil Mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan

They stressed that no intelligence data bore out this accusation and, by dragging Israel into the conflict, Erdogan encouraged the Iraqi Kurdistan president Masoud Barzani to strengthen his military and intelligence ties with Israel and the PKK at the expense of relations with Turkey, when his main objective should be to persuade Barzani to stop giving them sanctuary.

Pressed again, the Turkish prime minister promised to clear the air. His aides then promised a retraction to ward of pressure from another quarter, Washington, over his deepening ties with Tehran, Syria and Hizballah, in response to concerns voiced by the visiting US State Department’s first special representative to the Muslim Communities, Farah Pandith.

The invitation Erdogan extended to Hizballah’s Hassan Nasrallah to pay an official visit to Ankara (which debkafile first revealed on June 22) had alarmed the Obama administration. In the event, the visit was called off – though not by Ankara but by the Hizballah leader who feared that no security service could promise him a safe return home.
Beset by rising acrimony from Washington, charges of neglecting national security at home and the Turkish armed forces’ inability to contend with the PKK’s onslaught, Erdogan has temporarily shelved his threatened operations against Israel.

Since the pro-Palestinian flotilla led by the Turkish Mavi Marmara was intercepted and redirected to Israeli Ashdod on May 31 – leaving nine Turkish activists dead – no further attempts have been made to break Israel’s Gaza blockade, whether by Turkey, Iran or Lebanon. Iran, reluctant to carry the can on its own, announced Friday its “aid ship” was delayed by “restrictions from the occupying Zionist regime,” while the Turkish prime minister decided to heed a confidential appeal from Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri not to allow Lebanese craft to set out from Turkey, or ports from Turkish-controlled northern Cyprus, after Israel warned they would be treated as “enemy vessels.”

The Turkish leader has set aside some of his more provocative actions for the time being, but debkafile’s Ankara sources stress he has not given up on his dream to raise his country to the pinnacle of a new Muslim Middle East bloc – in the first instance, by throwing in Turkey’s lot with the most radical Middle East forces dedicated to Israel’s destruction. Erdogan, Iran and other pro-Palestinian elements are expected to redeploy for another go at the Gaza blockade.

June 28, 2010 | 9 Comments »

Subscribe to Israpundit Daily Digest

Leave a Reply

9 Comments / 9 Comments

  1. The Koran teaches Muslims to hate Jews, so the whole spiel about Israel’s Muslim friends the Turks was always a callous-handed jackoff.

  2. I can see at least two states and probably 3.. Biden nor the congress will have nothing to say over the coming split. As soon as Americ pulls enough troops out it will begin.

  3. another natural ally are the Pashtun in Pakistan and Afghanistan

    after that Lost Tribe migrated, they went Buddhist (see Gandhara) before becoming 100% Muslim after 1000 AD.
    Better luck with the Lost Tribe of Mountain Jews in what is now Daghestan, in the Caucasus.

  4. An Israeli-Kurdish alliance:

    not so simple, especially as long as Israel is supplying working Heron drones to the Turkish military for use against the PKK. Better bet is Iraqi Kurdistan, confronted with impotent Iraqi government and ongoing military attacks from both Turkey and Iran, petitions UN for statehood of Greater Free Kurdistan.

    Erdogan worked the G20 trying to make his fight against the PKK a NATO mission, using the NATO mission in Afghanistan as precedent.

    Hurriyet reports that a group of four elderly men on their way to harvest thyme (the herb used for cooking) at 8:30 a.m. were mistaken for PKK terrorists. The Turkish army opened fire, and two, Mustafa Fil, 62 and Ali Dalm??, 61, were killed instantly. Mehmet Sak, 72,

    “… also spoke about the incident, saying, “We went to the mountain to collect thyme, suddenly they opened fire; I did not understand what was going on.” …”

    Where is the international outcry over Turkey’s trigger happy Army murdering elderly Kurds trying to gather cooking herb THYME?

  5. They are the most natural ally of Jewish Israel left in the Middle East

    another natural ally are the Pashtun in Pakistan and Afghanistan

  6. An Israeli-Kurdish alliance:

    After the defeat of Saddam Hussein, the Kurds finally have the nucleus of a homeland, in northern Iraq. But the Kurdish people themselves extend out in all directions: south into the oil-rich city of Kirkuk in Iraq, and then into northeast Syria (although lately they have been ethnically cleansed from there due to a prolonged drought), and into northwest Iran.

    But the greatest number of Kurds live in eastern Turkey. There are about 15 million of them, constituting 20% of the Turkish population.

    Kurds are sunni muslims related to the (Indo-Euroepan) Iranians. They hate the shiite Iranians, the oriental Turks, and the semitic arabs, and are hated back in turn by all of those groups.

    They are the most natural ally of Jewish Israel left in the Middle East (after the fall of the Shah, the defeat of Lebanon’s maronite christians, and the betrayal by the Turks). If the Kurdish military in Iraq allied with the Israeli military, they could probably carve out a greater Kurdistan from eastern Turkey and northern Syria, maybe even big enough to allow the Kurds to ship their oil directly to the Mediterranean.