Turkish Rhetoric And Turkish Reality About Gaza

Turkey more than any nation in the Middle East plays an unusual role because it has friendly relations both with Israel and Palestinian organizations such as Fatah and Hamas. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the first time sharply criticized Israel actions in Gaza by stating it was creating a humanitarian crisis and urged a cease fire, but his nation has closer relations with Israel than any other country in the region. Trade between the nations is over $3 billion and Israel supplies important weapons to Turkey and both conduct joint military exercises. Turkey is also in a difficult situation because it has undertaken invasions of Iraq to put down the PKK terrorists and in the process of those actions used weapons supplied by the Israel military.

Israel leaders are simply going to ignore the latest comments by Erdogan and mark it down to express what any Muslim leader must say during the current Gaza crisis. Ironically, Turkey and Israel are the only two true democracies in the Middle East. Both are hampered by terrorist attacks and both have resorted to military force. In the coming days there will be extensive rhetoric, but there is scant likelihood either will draw apart from the other.