Islamist Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will not be visiting Gaza later this month, as he had planned, reportedly due to Egyptian military authorities’ refusal to allow him to enter the Hamas-controlled territory through the Egyptian border.
The denial by Egypt’s military authorities was due to Erdogan’s continuous criticism of the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi and of the new interim military-backed government, Al-Ahram reported.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called on Israel to compensate flotilla victims and end its blockade of Gaza before full normalization of relations can be restored.
On Friday, as U.S. President Barack Obama was about to depart Israel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Erdogan and apologized for Israel’s actions during the May 2010 Gaza flotilla incident, during which eight Turks and one Turkish-American were killed after they attacked Israeli soldiers on board.
Whether this is just bluster to enhance his standing in the Middle East community or a serious threat remains to be seen. But the rhetoric is enough to concern leaders around the world.
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan reportedly is ordering his newly deployed navy vessels in the Mediterranean to intercept and disarm Israeli warships.
Such a confrontation would be viewed as an act of war and could plunge the two former allies into an ensuing military conflict.
Erdogan, who is on a tour of Arab Spring states, also says the Palestinian flag should be viewed as the world’s new symbol of peace, an absurdity to those who have been victimized by Palestinian terrorist attacks and missile barrages.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is in Egypt, and will visit other nations that have been upset by Arab Spring demonstrations, in an attempt to flex his regional muscle and convince leaders of other Middle Eastern nations that he is a force to be reckoned with.
All of this will be closely watched by Jerusalem, given Erdogan’s recently developed contentious relationship with Israel, including embarking on a dangerous and provocative policy of sending war ships into the Mediterranean Sea, possibly setting things up for a confrontation with the Israeli Navy.