Is Turkey challenging Israel?

Jan 30, 2010, 7:18 PM |

Right after the event that took place in Davos, I wrote that the “one minute” zeal of Erdoğan was a show produced by the US in order to ease Turkey’s penetration into the Arab world. I referred to the contacts of, then, Advisor Ahmet Davutoğlu, and I argued that having recognized that it cannot content itself solely to Israel in the region, by utilizing Turkey, or rather the New Ottoman, the United States attempts to re-embed the elements within the Arab world which have distanced themselves from the US due to Israeli aggression, although they are ready for collaboration.

The past record of Turkey vis-à-vis Arabs was not good at all; this had to be corrected first. With the two words spelled out by Erdoğan, the seeds that had been planted for the last couple of years started to turn green. In the personality of Erdoğan, Arabs, who have been feeling unaided before the coarseness of Zionism, found a lifesaver.

The show served the purpose, and Turkey has become an agent that can enter through any door it desires, carry out any maneuver in the Middle East without detriment to its relations with Israel.

Now Davutoğlu is the Minister of Foreign Affairs… Having steered the international relations of Justice and Development Party (AKP) for years, he took the chair of ministry at a time when Obama is taking a new path that would cut the Gordian knot in foreign affairs of the US imperialism. Events unfurled in such a way that New Ottomanism has become the “red book” of international relations with him, and Davutoğlu himself do not abstain from stating this fact explicitly.

For the time being, Turkey is the element that pieces together the countries and movements which have digressed, which had to digress, from pax-Americana due to the coarseness of Zionism and the US. Turkey is adapting itself to this role by leaps and bounds, and with great ingenuity. The position of Syria, which was after strategic partnership with Russia as recently as yesterday, should be deemed important. We are as yet at the beginning of the procedure, but Ankara has prepared Damascus for the US. As I have written before, some of the bridges between the US and certain sections of the Iraqi resistance have been built by Turkey again. At the background of the relative moderation of the US attitude towards Hamas, there lies the fact that AKP has convinced White House that this unreliable but effective actor of the Palestinian resistance is a “fellow to do business with”.

The remedy found by Obama in order not to lose the Middle East is to win back the offended. Stating it politely, the role played by AKP is called matchmaking; you may not prefer to be as polite as this of course…

Naturally, the process does not run smoothly; these diplomatic moves are carried out in a difficult, unpredictable territory.

For sure, one of these difficulties is the state of Israel itself, which has been nurtured and indulged by the US for years; hence, a state that could not merely be reduced to a tool of the US due to these reasons to a certain extent, but furthermore, due to its peculiar ideological motivations.

Indeed, the Israeli government has been endeavoring to get the support of Turkey for a long time so as to escape from its solitude in the Middle East. Yet, two points have always been essential for the Zionists: to sustain its hegemonic position in the region either through threat or assuring subordination, and restricting its partners’ sphere of maneuvering, confining them to the relations established with itself. For this reason, in the second half of 1990s when the relations between Turkey and Israel had leaped forward infamously and in every field, certain Israelis were stating openly that their relations with Turkey were motivated by the solitude of both countries, and they would be damaged as long as this isolation is broken.

Are we now at that stage?

Not exactly… Because, it is not possible for the US to proceed on its way in the Middle East without giving Israel a central role; without casting this country for special acts. Yet, Israel cannot maintain the position it has held up to now; it has to admit that… Moreover, it has to admit the emergence of new pivotal points.

In the last elections in Israel, a government that does not, that cannot admit this fact due to structural reasons has come to power. This government has the ability to sabotage US maneuvers towards the Arab world. Just to give an example, keep in mind that the differences of opinion between the US and Israel in relation to the negotiations on Palestine have never been this much “real” before. At a juncture when Turkey is trying to pressure Israel, the pressure put on Tel Aviv by the US is not lighter and not less important at all!

However, the US is confined by certain fetters for several reasons. At this instance exactly, Turkey sets itself to motion for the US once again; as if it is saying, “come on; exploit me like this!”

The summary of the present tension in Turkey-Israel relations is the US attempt to tame Israel through Turkey.

In the medium run, nothing would change considering the relations between Turkey and Israel. The voices of those who say “we are doing wrong” in Israel would become louder, Israel would be tamed, and the influence of Turkey over the Arab world would increase. What about the Palestinian issue? It will not be solved! Just like the Kurdish problem…

Will there be peace after all?

No, there will not, because the US is doing all these not to bring peace, but to maintain its hegemony.

And what about Turkey?

One should remind those who boast themselves through the claim, “we are becoming a regional power” that they will come to grief soon. In this turmoil, Turkey’s time to be tamed will arrive sooner or later.

Kemal Okuyan
(Member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of Turkey)