Forlydender vil ha det til at Recep Tayyip Erdogan vil undertegne en militær samarbeidsavtale med Egypt neste mandag. Samtidig varsler Erdogan at han ikke er ferdig med å straffe Israel. Det kommer mer.
Erdogan sier det foreligger en plan C. Diplomater må være ute av Israel innen onsdag, og de militære kontraktene fryses, men foreløpig er ikke de sivile berørt.
«If steps taken up to now were part of plan B [designed to force Israel to apologize for its actions in last year’s Gaza flotilla incident, and pay compensation], there will also be plan C,» declared Erdogan. «Israel has always acted as a spoiled child in response to UN resolutions pertaining to it. Israel assumes that it can continue to act like a spoiled child, and evade punishment.»
Subsequently Erdogan’s office clarified that private trade relations are not subsumed by the sanctions; these commercial ties are valued at three billion dollars a year. Instead, military agreements are being suspended. This clarification was issued after Turkish businessmen demanded to know whether they are being required to cut off ties with Israel, lest they face legal punishment.
The alacrity with which Turkey reached its decision to impose sanctions derives partly from the fact that it believes Israel is responsible for leaking the UN’s report on the flotilla to Gaza. Turkish sources insist that Israel made a U-turn regarding the UN investigation, since it originally demanded that the report’s release be deferred.
«We agreed to defer release of the report for a few weeks, but not for six months, as Netanyahu wanted,» one senior Turkish official explained. «We could have discussed issues regarding the text’s formulation, and even forged an agreement, but Israel’s leak of the document broke all the rules.»
Men i tyrkisk presse er det uenighet om Erodgans brinkmanship. Man synes han eskalerer en konflikt som kunne vært løst i minnelighet.
«Sometimes the prime minister acts on gut feelings, and then later tries to repair what he’s done,» explained one member of parliament who asked to remain anonymous. «But you have to distinguish between Turkey’s widespread support for the demand that Israel apologize and pay compensations, and criticism about the country’s diplomatic procedures. We were the ones who demanded that an international investigatory panel be formed; we send a delegate, and now we must come out and challenge the panel’s conclusions. The report does not order Israel to apologize; instead it merely recommends that Israel express regret. In other words, there is a need to discuss the matter with Israel and work out acceptable language,» the parliamentarian said.
Turkey’s media is divided in its response to Erdogan’s actions regarding Israel. «Was there really a war that we have to win?» asked Murat Yetkin, a prominent journalist for Hurriyet Daily News. «The answer to this question is simple. No, there is no such war.»
Yusuf Kanli, former editor of the Turkish Daily News, wrote that, «were the Turkish government to respond to developments in the Middle East with a less emotional, non-religious attitude, relations between Israel and Turkey would not degenerate to their current state.»
Turkey set to sign military pact with Egypt, after cutting trade ties with Israel
The alliance is not intended as ‘revenge’ against Israel; Erdogan’s intention is to extend Turkey’s influence to areas it has not reached in past decades.