The deputy chairman of external affairs for Turkey's ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party has said that all the countries, and particularly Israel, should make the necessary mental shift about Turkey.
Suat Kiniklioglu, AK Party's deputy chairman of external affairs and the party's MP from central Anatolian province of Cankiri, wrote an article titled "A Little Respect, Please", published in the U.S. dailies, The New York Times and International Herald Tribune.
In his article, Kiniklioglu said that Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon's recent rebuke of the Turkish Ambassador in Tel Aviv, would constitute another milestone in the ongoing tension between Turkey and Israel.
"People in the business of statecraft recognize that disagreements between Turkey and Israel are likely to continue provided there is no recognizable change in issues such as improving the humanitarian situation in Gaza, the complete and immediate freezing of settlements and the overall posture of Israel toward the peace process," Kiniklioglu said.
Recalling USA and Europe's criticisms regarding Turkey's engagement with Syria in the past, Kiniklioglu said, "Today we see a full reversal of U.S. and European policies. Both now recognize that engaging with Syria is the right course of action".
Kiniklioglu said that Americans had begun to revise their position in 2007 and recognized that Turkey was a regional power and no longer the satellite state of the Cold War years.
He said it took efforts to facilitate that mental shift, however, U.S. President Barack Obama's early visit to Turkey was a confirmation of that perception.
"Europeans still have a hard time making the mental shift concerning Turkey, which is why our relations remain fragile. Israel appears to be in the same position. It also does not seem to have fully accepted that Turkey has changed and that Turkey's reentry into the Middle East is permanent," Kiniklioglu wrote.
Pointing to the recent ambassador crisis with Israel, Kiniklioglu said, "Clumsy efforts to humiliate a Turkish ambassador should never be part of Israeli domestic political calculations".
Noting that Turkey's regional policy aimed at reintegrating the country into its immediate neighborhood, Kiniklioglu said, "Turkey will continue to advocate a new inclusive order in the region and will seek diplomatic means to further this agenda".
"Unless there is visible change addressing the humanitarian situation in Gaza and a more constructive position is adopted in relation to making peace with Syria, it is highly unlikely that the quality of the bilateral relationship with Israel will improve.The first step to take in the right direction is to recognize the new regional setting and Turkey's interests in the region. For that to happen, it is necessary to make the necessary mental shift about Turkey," Kiniklioglu ended his article.
Last Mod: 25 Ocak 2010, 11:35