03 November 2009

The Defection of Turkey

03 Nov 2009


An Escalation of Problems for Israel

In 2003 Turkey denied access to the US for the invasion of Iraq. This created a headache for the invasion plans which had to concentrate forces mainly in the south. Since then, and since Obama’s visit in early 2009, Turkey has publically and serially taken sides with enemies of US: Hamas, Syria, Iran and Sudan. Each is a deadly enemy of Israel. Further, Turkey cancelled its participation in recent multi-national military exercises involving Israel - and thus forced the US to cancel the exercises altogether. 

These developments are unprecedented. It is hard to characterize them as diplomatic theatre. We can conclude that a sharp break is definitely in progress here. So, what is going on?

Exactly what are Turkey's interests? Well, 'solidarity' with fellow Muslims and reorientation towards the Muslim world seems to rank high. The ruling AKP (Justice and Development Party) government has probably given up on EU entry. It was never keen anyway. Economically, the denial of full European Union membership spurs Turkey in the direction of the Middle East, where the AKP are inclined to go anyway for theological, historical and cultural reasons.

1 Read more