U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Turkish officials that the anguish of Americans over the terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon helped him understand the frustration of Turks over the death of IHH thugs who were killed in the May 2010 flotilla clash after kidnapping and seriously wounding several Navy soldiers.
Nine Turks, members of the terror-linked IHH “charity” organization, brutally clubbed and knifed the commandos who reach the deck of the Mavi Mamara by climbing down a rope from a hovering helicopter and armed with nothing more than personal pistols and paint guns.
Kerry compared the American reactions to the terrorist attack in Boston with those in Turkey to the Israeli counterterrorist attack on the IHH.
“It affects the community, it affects the country. But going forward, you know, we have to find the best way to bring people together and undo these tensions and undo these stereotypes and try to make peace,” he stated.
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon (Likud) criticized Kerry or his remarks. “It is never helpful when a moral equivalency is made confusing terrorists with their victims,” Danon told The Times of Israel. ”The only way to deal with the evils of terrorism it to wage an unrelenting war against its perpetrators, wherever they may be.”
Kerry visited Ankara to try to bring Turkey and Israel closer together after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s four years of snubbing Israel and falling into his own trap by embracing Iran and Syria.
The new Secretary of State, who already is a candidate to surpass his predecessor Hillary Clinton’s record for traveling around the world several times, tried to pull his diplomatic weight to convince Erdogan not to visit Hamas-controlled Gaza next month.
The trip ‘‘would be better delayed and that it shouldn’t take place at this point in time… Our sense is that it would be more helpful to wait for the right circumstances.”
Kerry met with Turkey’s foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu but not with Erdogan, whose ego could not possibly allow anyone less than the President of the United States to sway his plans.
President Barack Obama used his trip to Israel last month to convince Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to offer an apology to Erdogan for the outcome of the flotilla clash and even agree to compensate families of those who planned and carried out the attacks on the commandos.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry quickly replied to Kerry’s request in the negative.
It would be wrong to evaluate these [Kerry’s statements] as a ‘U.S. reaction to Erdogan’s Gaza visit,’” an official from the Turkish Foreign Ministry told daily Hürriyet, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
“For now there isn’t any change in the prime minister’s Gaza schedule. The issue will be discussed during Erdogan’s visit [to the United States] on May 16. This is what Kerry says, too. After the U.S. trip, Erdogan’s Gaza trip will be realized,” he said.
Perhaps President Obama can convince Erdogan to cool off a bit, especially if Turkey wants to feel more secure against the prospect of neighboring Iran as a nuclear threat.
In return, perhaps Erdogan can convince President Obama to compensate the families of the brothers who murdered three people, wounded 200 others and threw Boston into mayhem in the Boston Marathon Massacre.