Turkey’s President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan — the country’s current prime minister — is scoring major public relations points at home via Gaza, through Israel.
Erdogan is raising millions for Gaza residents left homeless in the wake of a war on Israel started by their Hamas terrorist leaders.
The Ankara government has raised $20.8 million dollars so far to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza since the start of Operation Protective Edge, according to the Yeni Safak newspaper, which quoted Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Emrullah Isler.
The country’s international development agency, TIKA, provided 15,000 Gaza families “through its permanent office in Gaza, under the ongoing heavy Israeli attacks,” Isler claimed in a written statement to the paper.
A rundown of benefits provided by the Turkish government included:
- Daily food for more than 350,000 Palestinian Authority unity government Arabs since the beginning of Ramadan (but it was not made clear whether they were all residents of Gaza);
- ‘Desperately-needed fuel’ for the Palestinian Energy Authority; and
- Medicine and generators delivered by the Turkish Red Crescent.
In addition, Turkey transferred 18 wounded people to Ankara for medical treatment “as part of a plan to evacuate “thousands” from Gaza.
What was not mentioned was the pivotal role of Israel and Egypt in all of this: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was careful to first visit both nations to formally request the use of their airspace prior to sending aircraft to collect anyone from Gaza or deliver any form of aid.
As a matter of fact, Turkish aircraft have been using Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport to transfer all of the supplies and transport patients between Gaza and Ankara.
In addition, all aid deliveries to the region have been carried out with the full cooperation of the State of Israel via the land crossings into Gaza.
That, despite some rather vicious, anti-Israeli rhetoric by Turkish president-elect Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country’s prime minister to date, including comparing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with Hitler.
Also not mentioned was the fact that the top terrorist in Hamas, Salah al-Arouri, is living safely in Turkey, far from the reach of Israel and well within range of those from whom he can raise funds to finance more attacks against the Jewish State.
Erdogan has tightened Turkey’s ties with Iran and has equated Zionism with racism, leading the country in an anti-Semitic direction that has threatened the good relations Turkish Jews have always enjoyed with their neighbors. Breitbart News this week quoted one businessman as saying that Turks now swear at Jews in the street. The site reported that “one hotel warned in response to an email message requesting to book a room that ‘for your further safety concerns it is our duty to inform you that the Palestine embassy is our next door neighbor and we do not have private security within the hotel.’”
No need for that warning: Israel has already slapped an alert against travel to Turkey by its citizens. Most — if not all — all kosher production supervisors reportedly left the country several weeks ago following riots and attacks on Israel’s embassy in Ankara and near its consulate in Istanbul, in addition to harassment by various individuals.
A statement by Erdogan pressuring Turkish Jews to issue public condemnations of Israel’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge against the Hamas terrorist group — launched to silence incessant rocket fire on citizens of southern Israel — makes clear his position regardless of any future ‘business’ arrangements with the Jewish State.
About the Author: Rachel Levy is a freelance journalist who has written for Jewish publications in New York, New Jersey and Israel.
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