Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

January 30, 2009

Turkish Prime Minister tells it like it is

Filed under: Turkey,zionism — louisproyect @ 2:41 pm

3 Comments »

  1. And it’s about time. In recent years Turkey has become an ally of Israel–not to the extent of Murabak and Egypt, but co-operating all the same. Of course Erdogan has an election soon and this is a crowd-pleaser in Turkey. On his return from Davos he was met at the airport with near hysterical approval. But then Israel’s aggression against the people of Gaza was unleahed in view of Israel’s coming elections. Erdogan’s slapping down Shimon Peres, for whatever the reason, was the first breach in the near perfect public relations project with which Israel tried to cover its aggression. How good it was to see the campaign failing in the midst of a reunion of the Lords of the Universe.

    Comment by Peter Byrne — January 30, 2009 @ 3:41 pm

  2. On 15 January, ‘President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused Israel Thursday of committing “massacre and aggression ” in the Gaza Strip, and blasted the United Nations Security Council as beholden to U.S. and British influence.’ (http://www.cbsnews.com/blogs/2009/01/16/world/worldwatch/entry4726434.shtml)

    On the face of it, a perfectly sensible and measured accusation congruent with the whole left had been saying since 27 December. And yet, the blogosphere somehow refrained from singing his praises. I surmise the reason for this is that Ahmedinejad has low credibility and is not perceived as an asset to the struggle.

    Erdoğan is responsible for attacks on occupied Kurds both within the Turkish controlled area of Kurdistan and across the border in Iraq, deploying pretexts nearly indistinguishable from those used to justify Israel’s atrocities – ‘no country can tolerate an insurgency sniping from across the border’, ‘we never endanger noncombatants’, and so forth.

    It may be the case that Turkey’s attacks on Iraqi Kurdistan, beginning in December 2007, killed and injured fewer civilians than ‘Operation cast lead’. As far as I can tell, there have been no body counts apart from official Turkish claims of hundreds of ‘rebels’ killed, and no civilians (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7247475.stm). But then, that region is sparsely populated, unlike Gaza, so minimizing ‘collateral damage’ was easier for him. Ironically, Erdoğan most recently bombed Iraq as missiles began to fall on Gaza on 27 December 2008 (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7802106.stm).

    He is an unprincipled hypocritical butcher whose objective in condemning Israel is fundamentally an electoral ploy. With important local government elections looming on 29 March, as he rounds up and incarcerates his Kemalist intellectual critics, he is well aware that most Turks do not think highly of Israel. A BBC poll in March 2007 found that only 2% of Turks thought Israel had a ‘mainly positive influence’ in the world, the lowest proportion of any of the 27 countries surveyed, while 76% said Israel’s influence was ‘mainly negative’. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6421597.stm)

    Under the circumstances, I can’t see Erdoğan’s criticism of Israel as any more of an asset in the struggle for Palestine than Ahmedinejad’s.

    Comment by Ernie — January 31, 2009 @ 10:47 pm

  3. It was a bit of grandstanding that doesn’t seem to have fazed the Israelis.
    Erdogan has been in power in Turkey since 2002. No doubt his “secular” predecessors had better relations with Israel, but Erdogan’s AKP government has not touched the agreements with Israel reached earlier, including diplomatic, military and commercial cooperation. These would have to be abrogated if Erdogan’s hissy fit is to mean anything.

    Comment by Hasta siempre comandante — February 2, 2009 @ 7:43 pm


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