web analytics
October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



As Protests Rock Turkey, Israel Watches with Ambivalence

Adding Turkey to the list of volatile states would mean even more uncertainty for Israel.
Erdoğan's raucous style of speaking, the dismissive way he treats his political opposition, his attention to religious trappings and his activist foreign policy in the Middle East arouses concerns among his opposition that he is trying to restore the Ottoman Empire and become a modern-day sultan.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Photo Credit: EPA/TOLGA BOZOGLU

TEL AVIV – As the budding protest movement in Turkey against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan struggles to gain a foothold, Israel is watching the developments with some measure of ambivalence.

On the one hand, Erdogan has led Turkey away from a close alliance with Israel, using his perch to castigate Israel for its treatment of the Palestinians and curtailing once-cozy military ties with the Israel Defense Forces. A popular uprising that leaves Erdogan politically wounded could be welcome news for Israel.

On the other hand, Turkey has been one of the few redoubts of stability in an increasingly volatile Middle East and among the few governments able to broker relationships between Israel and its Arab adversaries. Turkey and Israel also have been engaged in reconciliation talks over the past three months.

With other states in the region enmeshed in civil war, messy political transitions or other forms of political turmoil, adding Turkey to the list of volatile states would mean even more uncertainty for Israel.

“We say this is great, he berated us – but we don’t know who will come after him,” Efrat Aviv, an expert on Turkish politics at Bar-Ilan University’s Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, said of Erdogan.

“We know his strengths and weaknesses. We know how to deal with him. It would be hard if someone new came in who we didn’t know.”

Protests in Istanbul’s Taksim Square, which began on May 28, initially opposed a city construction plan slated to replace a park. But since then the protests have spread throughout the country and morphed into a broader condemnation of Erdogan, who has led Turkey for ten years and plans to run for president next year.

Erdogan, the head of the conservative Muslim AKP party, has ordered authorities to crack down on the protesters. This week, police arrested hundreds of journalists, medics who were treating protesters and even local shop owners who have aided the demonstrations.

Though these protests may weaken Erdogan within Turkey, they probably won’t affect Israeli-Turkish negotiations because Erdogan is unlikely to lose his grip on power, according to Alon Liel, a former Israeli ambassador to Turkey.

“They can’t get rid of him,” Liel said. “I don’t think there will be any implications. He’s the same person at the head of the same party.”

But Aviv says a loss of domestic power could prompt Erdogan to improve foreign relations and “make him get closer to Israel.”

Turkey and Israel had a strong alliance a decade ago, but their ties began to deteriorate not long after Erdogan came to power. The nadir came in 2010, when Israeli naval commandos stopped a pro-Palestinian flotilla intent on breaking Israel’s maritime blockade of Hamas-controlled Gaza. A violent confrontation aboard one of the boats, the Mavi Marmara, left nine Turkish nationals dead, incensing Erdogan.

Turkey recalled its ambassador from Israel and subsequently downgraded diplomatic ties with Jerusalem.

During his visit to Israel in March, President Obama orchestrated a phone call in which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formally apologized to Erdogan for the Mavi Marmara incident, sparking reconciliation talks between Israel and Turkey that are ongoing.

One regional leader who may benefit from the turmoil in Turkey is embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to Liel.

Erdogan’s government has been aiding Syrian rebels and has taken in hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees, so a blow to Erdogan could be good news for the Syria-Iran-Hizbullah axis – and bad news for Israel.

Gallia Lindenstrauss, a research fellow at Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies, says that while the protests may weaken Erdogan’s government, they demonstrate that Turkey is a still a democracy – a good thing in a region filled mostly with autocracies.

“They show in the long term that civil society is expanding and flowering,” she said. “There have been a lot of bad things happening, but in the long term they show that Turkey is democratic.”

(JTA)

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

One Response to “As Protests Rock Turkey, Israel Watches with Ambivalence”

  1. Until he apologies and compensates Israel for his terrorist attack we should not aid him at all.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jews Against Genocide mimicked and blasphemed the ALS Ice Bucket  Challenge with their anti-Israel "Blood Bucket Challenge."
‘Jews Against Genocide’ Take ‘Blood Bucket Challenge’ at Yad Vashem [video]
Latest Indepth Stories
terrorists

Is the global community clear in its response to these extremist groups?

obama

Like our fabled character, Don Quixote, President Obama has constantly spawned his own reality.

Ayatollah Hossein-Kazamani Boroujerdi, in better times (left) and in his prison cell (right).

Boroujerdi was informed that “the pressures and tortures will increase until he has been destroyed.”

Senior Hamas and Fatah leaders in Gaza City on April 22. Hamas and Fatah signed a deal to establish a unity government, but since then little progress has been made.

Fatah: Hamas stole relief aid for Gaza and distributed it amongst its followers in mosques.

Can teenagers seriously be expected to behave properly when they are surrounded by so much suggestive material? Is it fair to expose them (and ourselves) to so much temptation and then tell them, “Just say no”?

Washington remains ignorant of the need to dismantle alliances with various Muslim countries.

Defeating IS requires bombing its strongholds and recognizing the violent nature of Islam.

Abbas again used the UN to attack Israel, distort history, and undermine prospects for peace.

Israel and the Palestinian Authority cannot even agree to move their clocks back on the same day.

Shemita is about relating to each other by temporarily eliminating gaps of wealth power & status

David transcended adversity to become a leader; Who are we to make excuses for a lack of greatness?

sympathy: Feeling sorrow or pity for another’s tribulations; Empathy:sharing an emotional experience

Last week the president announced a four-point plan. Unfortunately, there’s little buy-in from our European and Middle Eastern allies. Here’s my own four-point plan that may be more palatable to our allies.

Rosh Hashanah has an obvious connection to God’s Kingship. We constantly refer to Him during the Asseres Yemei Teshuvah as Melech/King. The nusach of the tefillah, referring to Rosh Hashanah as “a remembrance of the first day” (of Creation), implies a certain dimension of divine kingship operating at the time of Creation and replicated every […]

Yes, God judges, but His judgment is that of a loving father who longs for his child’s quick return.

Anti-Semitism has returned to the mainstream of European society and Israel has become its focus.

More Articles from Ben Sales
IDF soldiers rush injured Israelis to Soroka Hospital in Beersheva after a mortar fired from Gaza exploded at an army staging area near Kibbutz Nirim, close to the Gaza border. The attack occurred shortly before a cease-fire went into effect on Tuesday. Three Israelis visiting the area were hit; two of them died of their wounds.

After a month, should the quiet hold, Israel and Hamas will restart indirect negotiations in Cairo on easing Israel’s blockade of the coastal strip and disarming the enclave.

Shlomy Zachary, an Israeli human rights lawyer, noted that Israeli cooperation with previous UN investigations has helped mitigate criticism of Israel – for example, in a 2010 UN investigation of the so-called flotilla incident.

Smart bombs: Israeli war technology isn’t limited to the home front.

“The values I learned from my parents are probably the same values I hope Christians and Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists teach to their people.”

On Monday, Lapid told JTA that he would sooner agree to freeze settlement growth than free Palestinian prisoners, as Netanyahu has done previously in an effort to advance the process.

“He was like everyone else,” she said. “He was serious. He wouldn’t mess around. He would do what I said. He was quiet a lot and thought a lot. He did everything well.”

More than having a hand on the wheel, the year since the formation of the new government has seen Jewish Home and the coalition’s other smaller parties driving much of the government’s agenda. Netanyahu’s Likud party has taken a back seat on everything besides security affairs.

Saddled with nearly $370 million in debt and an annual deficit exceeding $85 million, Hadassah Hospital struggles to chart a course back to solvency.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/as-protests-rock-turkey-israel-watches-with-ambivalence/2013/06/19/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: