World Bulletin / News Desk
Think-tank group Stratfor wrote in an analysis, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's condemnation of Israel in the wake of the conflict in Gaza is based on pragmatism and will not change relations between Turkey and Israel. The analysis argued Arab regimes also would welcome Turkey as a counterweight to Iran.
The analysis, written by Kamran Bokhari, says "the view among the Arab masses is that Turkey's leaders are far more politically competent than their Arab counterparts; Erdogan is seen by the Arab street not only as genuine in his support for the Palestinians, but also as bearing qualities that Arab leaders lack."
"Growing Muslim solidarity in the region, massive demonstrations organized by Turks protesting the war in Gaza gives Ankara an opportunity to criticize Israel harshly" stressing, the analysis says, "these demonstrations and Erdogan's statements have had a deep impact on the Arab psyche at a time when the masses in the Arab world are in search of leadership. For that matter, even the Arab regimes would welcome Turkey on a certain level as a counterweight to Iran, and to radical Islamist actors in the region."
"Turkey's pursuit of leadership of the Middle East and the Muslim world does not automatically damage Ankara's relations with Israel and the West" suggesting, the analysis says "Turkish ties to both are built on solid footing. Turkey was among the first states to recognize Israel after the birth of the Jewish state in 1948, and since then the two countries have had close diplomatic and military relations."
"Even the AK Party's attempts to create more balance between its relations with Israel and with the Arab states have not altered the historical relationship between Turkey and Israel. In fact, under the Erdogan administration, Ankara has been mediating indirect peace talks between Israel and Syria. Despite the AK Party's Islamist roots, the current Turkish leadership is much more pragmatic in its strategic outlook than Iran and other radical Islamist actors in the region. The AK Party government is well aware that close relations with Israel, the United States and the West will allow it to enhance its influence in the Middle East and the wider Islamic world."
"Also, Ankara is trying to position itself as a go-between for the Arab/Muslim world and the West — but to do that, it needs to enhance its influence among Arabs and Muslims. Hence the harsh criticism against Israel."
"In many ways, Israel and the West would actually prefer Turkish leadership in the Middle East and the Islamic world to that of Iran or the Arab states," underlining, Stratfor analysis says "Turkey is a secular, Westernized Muslim state and a NATO ally, and it is well-positioned between the Islamic and Western spheres. From the Israeli and Western point of view, Turkish leadership could serve as a counter to radical Islamist tendencies from Iran and from Sunni nonstate actors.
A similar analysis is made by Hasan Bülent Kahraman in Turkey's Sabah newspaper.
Titled as " Being Turkey in the Middle East", Kahraman states, " Turkey turned towards a new cooperation and allience with Israel and the USA after the crisis of confidence status that was caused by 1 March Memorandum. There are two states in the Middle East today that act with the USA; intersect, or at least do not contradict, its goals and self-interests. Similarly, the US tries to solve its relations in this region ( while making a long term plan) by bringing Israel and Turkey closer.".
"It`s more apparent now, because the situation is like this and because he has to act in this way, Erdogan pressed hard on Israel in his latest statements," he said.
He said "hovewer, especiallay when Israel`s mistakes towards Turkey are clear, Turkey is sure that this rhetoric will not effect relations behind doors."
"This is the result of long term transformation plans in the near future on energy, demography and economy of the region. With same logic, Armanian problem that is to be discussed in American Senate, will not be a problem for Turkey. Jewish Lobby, which is always on the side of Turkey, will support her again", Kahraman said.
Last Mod: 26 Ocak 2009, 17:01