Flotilla Attack Consequences Continue to Unfold
Let me start by quoting a report from The Guardian :
Turkey has hardened its stance towards Israel over the "freedom flotilla" taking aid to the Gaza Strip, warning today that it will sever diplomatic relations unless the Israelis issue a formal apology or accept an international investigation into the incident.
Davutoglu’s warning came as something of a surprise since it followed an apparent thaw between the two countries when he held a meeting in Brussels last week with Israel’s trade minister, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer. The meeting was itself the subject of a political row in Israel after news of the so-called secret session leaked out.
What is there to be surprised about? The Turkish government has said repeatedly that they are not going to back down over this. They’ve said repeatedly that a continued Israeli failure to apologise and make amends will mean an escalating series of counter measures. If, instead of relying on a British newspaper you read this article from a Turkish one Turkey’s last offer to Israel: Three options on table you’ll find that as well as listing the three courses of action that Israel could take:
- Accept the international, impartial inquiry and its conclusion
- Give up ties with Turkey
Davuto?lu listed the "roadmap" of measures that Turkey would take. These run from the blanket ban on military flights implemented shortly after the Israeli attack on the flotilla to completely suspending diplomatic relations with Israel.
One measure likely to be implemented very soon is extending the blanket ban on military flights through Turkish airspace to civilian aircraft. Prohibiting Israeli civilian aircraft from using Turkish airspace is likely to cause the Israeli airline El Al quite a lot of inconvenience as well as costing it rather a lot of money.
If matters reach the point where the Turkish government suspends all diplomatic relations with Israel that would be a catastrophe for Israeli. (The fact that the Turkish foreign minister is publicly talking about cutting off all diplomatic relations with Israel is a catastrophe for Israel already).
" "The Kurdish rebels are Israel’s sub-contractors." "
It gets worse, much worse, from the Israeli point of view. That the Israelis have been on again off again sponsors of the Kurdish separatist movement(s) is so well known as to be barely worthy of comment. That Turkey is officially starting to take notice is very noteworthy. This article, ‘Israel may have ordered Kurdish terror attack’ from the Israeli news site Ynet gives a brief outline of the meltdown taking place between Israel and the Turks. The article in Zaman to which the Ynet report refers can be found here, Suspicion growing about possible link between PKK and Israel. The article details the growing consensus amongst Turkish analysts and politicians that Israel is sponsoring terrorist acts by Kuridsh separatists:
Turkish intelligence organizations are looking into possible connections between the two incidents that occurred on the same day only hours apart. The terrorist act was carried out by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an outlawed organization that has been listed as terrorist group both in Turkey and in much of the international community. Analysts claim Israeli secret services may have contracted the job to the PKK to send a message to the Turkish government.
So far so bad from the Israeli point of view but the consequences of the illegal Israeli attack on the flotilla and the cold blooded massacre by Israeli troops that ensued don’t stop there. Right at the end of this report from Haaretz about how military relations are still excellent there’s this:
"The general’s overview highlights the importance of international cooperation in the struggle against terrorism and reflects the vast experience Turkey has amassed over dozens of years of fighting terrorism, particularly against the [Kurdish] PKK."
But if you read about the same topic in Zaman you get this (emphasis added):
Ba?bu? on IDF journal
Meanwhile, the latest edition of the official magazine of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has published a speech by Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. ?lker Ba?bu?, as reported by Israeli daily Haaretz. The journal, “Maarachot,” opens with the speech, delivered by Ba?bu? during a NATO conference in March.
The text also includes a prologue penned by his Israeli counterpart, Gabi Ashkenazi, who also attended the Ankara conference. "As a member of NATO and a large, important Muslim country that shares a border with Syria, Iraq and Iran, Turkey is a strategically pivotal country for regional security, as well as on the issue of water," Ashkenazi wrote. "The IDF and the Turkish army maintain military and security ties managed by military attaches stationed in both countries, hold mutual visits, stage joint war games and have conducted a long-running dialogue in many fields. I participated in the Ankara conference at which the general delivered his remarks. I am certain his statements will enrich our knowledge and strengthen awareness of the importance of joining forces to combat terrorism in all its forms.”
Not only is Israel refusing to apologise they’re upping the ante by threatening boycotts. Alas for the Zionist state it’s not a very credible threat:
According to data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat), Israel’s share in Turkey’s overall exports amounts to around 2 percent. The relations between the two countries deteriorated seriously after a deadly Israeli raid on a Turkish humanitarian aid vessel en route to Gaza two weeks ago, claiming the lives of nine peace activists and wounding many more. The Israeli Haaretz daily reported on Monday that two supermarket chains, Blue Square and Rami Levy, will stop working with Turkish suppliers.
Stressing that the boycott of Turkish goods is not a credible threat, Öztürk stated that Turkey has nothing to lose from this situation. But instead, he noted, Israel should fear a similar decisions by Turkey as “with a population of 70 million Turkey is one of the biggest consumers of Israeli products.” Öztürk underlined that Israel with its small population is indeed a small market for Turkey and that the volume of Turkey’s exports to Israel is not large. “And after all I don’t think people will be complying with this boycott. Even if we assume they do 100 percent, again it will not pose any threat to Turkey. Instead of causing any economic damage to the Turkish economy, it might have a positive impact by promoting Turkish goods in other countries. The drop in exports due to the Israeli boycott will easily be compensated by the counter effect it will create in the Arab world and Muslim countries,” remarked Öztürk.
But let’s get back to water. Water, in the Middle East it always comes down to water. Turkey is a strategically pivotal country for regional security, as well as on the issue of water," Ashkenazi wrote. The water issue is key the water weapon is devastating.
Due to the desert climate that makes up a large percentage of Israel’s landscape, the country has always had problems with water shortages. Archaeologists have found that inhabitants of the region thousands of years ago were concerned with water conservation and had constructed various systems to collect, store, and transport rainwater.
On August 6, 2005, Israel and Turkey signed a groundbreaking agreement in which Turkey exports 1.75 billion cubic feet of water from its Manavgat River to Israel each year for the next 20 years. While the Turkish water is expected to fulfill only about three percent of Israel’s needs during the 20-year period, it is Israel’s first water import agreement and a further expansion of burgeoning economic ties between the two countries. The deal, which will be worth $800 million to $1 billion, “will create a new reality in the region,” former Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said. “I hope that Turkey will be the major supplier of water to the region.”
Turks cancel project to sell Israel water
The Islamist government in Ankara has shelved plans to sell the Jewish state 1.75 billion cubic feet of water a year for 20 years from the Mavganat River in Anatolia, part of its wider strategy of restoring the regional dominance it had a century ago.
The Turkish decision to suspend the project was in retaliation for the May 31 killing by the Israeli navy of nine Turks aboard a Turkish-flagged ship carrying humanitarian to the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip.
Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz says Ankara will not develop any joint projects with Israel until it "apologizes and expresses its regret" for the attack in international waters in the eastern Mediterranean.
Whom the Gods would destroy they first appoint to the Israeli cabinet … The Israelis seem to think that they can treat the Turks the same way they treat the Palestinians. That is a mistake which could very well prove to be the undoing of the Zionist settler state.