Foreign policy roundup: Turkey is not a piece of cake anymore

I have stated several times that Turkey has started a new foreign policy which is riskier but more attractive than the old obedient silent ally policy. I sincerely wish for its success.  EU hesitancy certainly helped the change. Before this new line of policy started, many Turks had already lost hope in the EU front. It is not easy for a nation to wait for more than 50 years for a membership. It is a great humiliation and Turkey is not the only reason for that.

Current Turkish leaders’ Islamic origins certainly gave them the courage to continue. Even if previous leaders thought to have more assertive foreign policy, that hardcore secularist line had little ties with the public but dependent on Western powers in terms of lifestyles and ideological background, social capital etc.

“Moving Eastward” is a mistaken thinking. I believe new FP is an attempt of neo-Ottomanism. I believe Turkish elites are trying to gather power from Middle East to negotiate in better terms with the major Western policy makers…

and for the critics of being isolated, was Turkey ever not isolated? always in fight with her neighbours, dependent on mostly US to survive. Is that being not isolated?

In the mean time, with the existing leaders in both countries Israel and Turkey relations are doomed to end and US-Turkey relations will be worse… US Foreign Policy Establishment is too conservative to change and has forgotten diplomacy for ages and doesn’t want to see that being a superior war machine is not enough, something proved hundreds of times…

İBRAHİM KALIN – No, Turkey is not going anywhere

After the Israeli attack on the aid flotilla to Gaza, a new battle was set in motion. Having ordered the raid that killed nine aid workers and wounded scores of them, the Benjamin Netanyahu government defended the operation and thus invited worldwide condemnation.

US blames EU for Turkey ‘drift’

from Yahoo news
Turkey’s growing hostility to Israel could be partly caused by its effective rejection by the EU, the US defence secretary says.

ANDREW FINKEL – Where in the world is Turkey?

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan appeared to be suffering from a touch of the Pol Pot when he declared 2002 — the date his party came to office — as a Year Zero of Turkish foreign policy.

Turkey calls charges turning from West ‘dirty propaganda’

from Yahoo news
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered reassurance on Thursday that his country is not turning away from the West in the wake of its vote against UN sanctions on Iran, calling such charges “dirty propaganda”.

Turkey spins on new set of axes with ‘no’ vote on Iran sanctions

from Hurriyet Dailynews
Turkey’s ‘no’ vote on new sanctions against Iran has disappointed Washington, potentially creating a sea change in the relationship between the two NATO allies.

Turkeys PM Erdogan receives a plaque from ...

Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (C) receives a plaque from Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa (R) as Lebanon’s Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri (L) applauds during the Turkish-Arab Economic Forum in Istanbul June 10, 2010.? Read more » REUTERS/Murad Sezer

Turkey, Arab nations look to form free-trade zone

from Yahoo news
Turkey and the Arab countries of Syria, Jordan and Lebanon, have decided to establish a cooperation council to create “a zone of free movement of goods and persons” among them.

Arab nations cheer Turkey for tough Israel stand

from Yahoo news
Arab nations burst into applause Thursday as Turkey’s prime minister walked to the podium at a summit, reflecting Turkey’s meteoric rise on the world stage amid disputes over Israel’s blockade of Gaza and U.N. sanctions against Iran.

Turkey: an honest broker in the Middle East
The Guardian
Far from Teitelbaum’s view, the Erdoğan government is constantly battling obstruction and resistance from deep state groups such as the Ergenekon network

Italian minister backs Gates on Turkey moving ‘eastwards’

from Hurriyet Dailynews
Italy’s foreign minister indicated he agreed with US Defense Secretary Robert Gates that the European Union’s refusal to embrace Turkey had pushed Ankara “eastwards.”
Turkeys  PM Erdogan attends Turkish-Arab ...

Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan attends the Turkish-Arab Economic Forum in Istanbul June 10, 2010. Turkey said on Thursday that the U.N. imposition of sanctions on Iran was a “mistake” and that together with Brazil it would continue to seek a diplomatic solution to remove concerns over Iran’s nuclear programme. In a speech to a Arab and Turkish ministerial forum, Erdogan also announced plans to form a regional free trade zone with three Arab states — Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.? Read more » REUTERS/Murad Sezer

Hamas: “We want Erdoğan’s model, not …

from Hurriyet Dailynews by GAZA CITY
The Justice and Development Party, or AKP?s, success in Turkey has become a model for Hamas, the group?s deputy foreign minister Ahmad Yusuf told daily Hürriyet.

Turkey?s emergence as a ?center power? in Mid-East is a game-changer

by acturca

The Huffington Post (USA), June 6, 2010

Soli Özel *

From the confrontations with Israel over Gaza to the Iranian nuclear swap proposed recently with Brazil, Turkey has been in the global spotlight lately.

Because the ruling AK Party (Justice and Development Party) belongs to Turkey?s Islamist tradition, many see the turn of events that has brought Turkey to the world?s attention as the result of an ideological shift in Turkish foreign policy.

I would argue, however, that most of these incidents ? including the latest deadly flotilla incident that may have changed the nature of Turkish-Israeli relations forever ? stem from structural causes having to do with Turkey?s new vision of itself as a « center power » in the broader Middle East.

Turkey says Iran sanctions “mistake”

from Yahoo news
Turkey called the imposition of U.N. sanctions on Iran a “mistake” Thursday and said that it and Brazil would continue to seek a diplomatic solution to remove concerns over Iran’s nuclear program.

Arab nations, Turkey condemn Israel’s ‘aggression’

from Yahoo news
Turkey and 20 Arab nations are expressing “grave concern and condemnation for the Israeli aggression” on Gaza-bound aid ships.

Turkey-US ties face ‘breaking point’ over vote

from – World, Europe
The turbulent relationship between the US and Turkey ? allies for more than half a century ? is about to reach a decisive moment when the United Nations Security Council votes on whether to tighten sanctions on Iran
Erdogan,  Aliev, Yildiz and Aliyev applaud in  ...

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (2nd R), Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliev (2nd L), Turkey’s Energy Minister Taner Yildiz (R) and Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Natik Aliyev (L) applaud during a signing ceremony in Istanbul June 7, 2010. Turkey and Azerbaijan signed a memorandum of understanding on natural gas exports on Monday as part of a deal that will set the framework for Azerbaijan’s gas exports to Europe.? Read more »

REUTERS/Murad Sezer

Russia, Turkey and Iran Meet, Posing Test for U.S.

A summit meeting in Turkey appeared to be calculated to test the U.S. just days before a debate at the U.N. on whether to seek tighter sanctions on Iran.

Managing a more assertive Turkey

by acturca

Interviews ? Council on Foreign Relations (USA), June 3, 2010

F. Stephen Larrabee,  Distinguished Chair in European Security, RAND Corporation interviewed by Bernard Gwertzman, Consulting Editor,

Turkey?s recent diplomatic differences with the United States and its sharpened deterioration of relations with Israel come from Turkey?s desire to reestablish its role as a major influence in the Middle East and Central Asia, says F. Stephen Larrabee, an expert on Turkey at the RAND Corporation. « Turkey is returning to a more traditional role, one in which it was closely involved in the Middle East for centuries, going back to the Ottoman Empire, » says Larrabee. He says the days when Turkey was a « junior partner » of the United States are over.

ANDREW FINKEL – The post-May 31 reality

Turkey?s foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, has been an articulate exponent of the more assertive role which both he and the nation he represents hope to play on the world stage. On more than one occasion he has produced from the hat a propitious phrase.

SUAT KINIKLIOĞLU – Testimonies from the Mavi Marmara

I have just come back from the hospital where the two dozen injured from the Mavi Marmara are being treated. I met the young men shot in their legs, arms and faces.

EMRE USLU – TSK?s perspective on PKK-Israel Relations

On May 31 Turkey woke up to two shocking incidents that took place in the eastern Mediterranean. A few hours apart, Kurdistan Workers? Party (PKK) militants attacked a naval post in İskenderun in the southern province of Hatay, and Israel attacked a civilian convoy in international waters, killing nine Turkish pro-Palestinian human rights activists and wounding

La Turquie émerge dans un nouveau rôle

by acturca

L?Humanité (France), 7 juin 2010, p. 4

Hassane Zerrouky

Face à l?inertie des régimes arabes alliés à Washington, Ankara intensifie son bras de fer avec Tel-Aviv. La Turquie sort renforcée par le raid meurtrier israélien contre la flottille humanitaire de Gaza, au cours duquel neuf ressortissants turcs ont été tués, et entend user de son nouveau poids pour contraindre Israël à revoir sa politique envers les Palestiniens.

Europe feels Turkey is moving away from the west

from by euro topics

When Turkey harshly criticised Israel for its military assault on a flotilla carrying international aid in the Mediterranean, the European press accused them of double standards. The Lithuanian, Italian and Spanish media fear that the country is turning away from Europe and the west

Hamas is a terrorist group, US insists

from Hurriyet Dailynews
The U.S. State Department said Monday it was opposed to the Turkish prime minister?s refusal to term Hamas a terrorist organization.

Israel to hold internal probes of Gaza flotilla raid

from Hurriyet Dailynews
Israel plans to hold internal probes of its deadly raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla that would fall far short of calls for an international inquiry into a commando operation widely condemned abroad.

Erdogan enfile son costume pro-Gaza

by acturca

Libération (France), 7 juin 2010, p. 6

Marc Semo

Acclamé par la rue arabe, le Premier ministre turc engage son pays dans une voie diplomatique nouvelle qui inquiète les Occidentaux.

Partout dans les manifestations dénonçant le blocus de Gaza et l?arraisonnement sanglant du Mavi Marmara les drapeaux turcs flottent au milieu des drapeaux palestiniens. Ce week-end encore, au Caire comme à Rabat ou d?autres capitales arabes, des milliers de manifestants scandaient des slogans à la gloire de Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Le Premier ministre islamo-conservateur turc est leur nouveau héros.

78 percent of Jewish Israelis view Turkey as enemy, poll shows

from Hurriyet Dailynews
Some 78 percent of Jewish Israelis now view Turkey, once Israel’s only Muslim ally in the Middle East, as an enemy nation, according to a poll published on Thursday.

Turkey brokers key gas supply deals for Nabucco

from by Georgi

Azerbaijan and Turkey yesterday (7 June) signed a deal to ship 11 billion cubic metres of Azeri gas per year to Turkey. Shipments would start in 2017 and some of the gas may be pumped into the EU’s planned Nabucco pipeline. Meanwhile, Northern Iraq declared in Turkey that it stands ready to provide gas supplies “to make Nabucco work”.

Israeli pipeline deal could be scrapped, Putin says

from Hurriyet Dailynews
Both Turkey and Russia say the Blue Stream II gas project may not be extended to Israel, but for different reasons. While Russian Prime Minister Putin cites decreased Israeli demand for the energy, Ankara was already threatening to suspend energy cooperation in the wake of Israel’s raid on an aid flotilla last week

Turkish, Azeri gas accord may boost investments

from Hurriyet Dailynews
The natural gas trade agreement signed between Turkey and Azerbaijan is expected to open the path for new investments in Caspian Sea fields. Azerbaijan will seek to ship 10 billion cubic meters of gas a year from the second phase of Shah Deniz across Turkey to Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Syria, among other gas consumers

La Turchia più lontana dall?Europa

by acturca

La Stampa (Italia), 02/06/2010                                       English Français

Enzo Bettiza

Non v?è dubbio che la flottiglia che puntava su Gaza era qualcosa di più d?una semplice spedizione destinata a portare soccorso umanitario ai civili palestinesi che vivono, in condizioni spesso disperate, nella soffocante striscia invasa e colpita dagli israeliani nel 2008. I pacifisti erano in realtà attivisti filopalestinesi, legati per tanti fili all?organizzazione terroristica di Hamas. Lo scopo vero della loro traversata era dichiaratamente provocatorio: forzare l?embargo e il severo blocco marittimo imposto da Israele lungo la striscia per ostacolare l?arrivo clandestino di armi e materiali balistici ai guerriglieri locali, sostenuti soprattutto dalla Siria e dall?Iran.

Turkey’s inevitable rise

from Hurriyet Dailynews by HDN
In recent years, Turkey has deftly pursued an independent-minded foreign policy.

Phil Gordon : » Un incident tragique pour le processus de paix «

by acturca

Le Monde (France), 5 juin 2010, p. 5

Propos recueillis par N. No.

Secrétaire d?Etat adjoint américain pour l?Europe et l?Eurasie, Phil Gordon était en visite, jeudi 3 juin, à Paris. Il a reçu quelques journalistes français.

Les Etats-Unis vont-ils demander à Israël de lever le blocus sur Gaza ?

Ce qui s?est produit est tragique pour tout le monde. Mais aussi pour le processus de paix. M. Nétanyahou devait venir à Washington ? le 1er juin ? pour parler du processus de paix. Le président Obama espérait aller de l?avant. Or il n?a pas pu venir à cause de cette tragédie. Nous espérions tenir un troisième round des pourparlers de proximité ? indirects, entre Israéliens et Palestiniens ? . L?incident ? au large de Gaza ? est tragique. Mais le problème est profond : c?est l?absence de pourparlers et la crise humanitaire à Gaza. Nous allons faire tous nos efforts pour améliorer la situation humanitaire à Gaza tout en assurant la sécurité d?Israël.

La crise entre la Turquie et Israël devrait renforcer le pouvoir d?Erdogan

by acturca

Agence France Presse, 4 juin 2010

Michel Sailhan

Le divorce entre la Turquie et Israël, provoqué par le raid israélien sur la flottille pour Gaza qui a tué neuf Turcs, devrait renforcer le pouvoir islamo-conservateur à Ankara au moment où celui-ci a engagé une épreuve de force avec l?opposition laïque et kémaliste.

Turkey is a symbol of stability,; says professor

from Hurriyet Dailynews
Turkey has shown how it can be a symbol of stability in the Middle East region during the economic crisis, according to Professor

Israel: Pixies Pull Show Stopper

from Global Voices Online by Nicole Hyman

By Nicole Hyman

In the wake of mounting international criticism and condemnation of Israel?s clash with activists intent on breaking the blockade on Gaza, the Pixies, a veteran rock band, have canceled their concert in Israel. This comes hot on the heels of performance cancellations by the Klaxons, Gorillaz Sound System as well as Elvis Costello. However, it was news of the Pixies no show that hotted up the Twitosphere and got many finding the link between music and politics.

A Confident Turkey Could Not Ignore Israel’s Killings

from The White Path

[Originally published in Irish Times] A decade ago, Israel and Turkey seemed to be “the” best friends in the Middle East. Today they are not only engaged in an unending war of words, but there is even blood between them. How did we get here? Turks have a pretty cordial history with the Jewish people. When the latter were expelled from Catholic Spain in 1492, the Ottoman Empire offered them a safe haven. The immigrant Sephardic communities flourished in Ottoman lands, becoming the most loyal non-Muslim people to the Sultanate until the latter’s demise in the first World War. When Israel was founded in 1948, Turkey was among the first countries to recognise it. The two states soon became allies within the Cold War context: they were both US allies threatened by the Soviet Union and its proxies. Some strategists even spoke of a pro-American “trident” in the region: Turkey, Israel and the Shah’s Iran. The Cold War context influenced not just Turkish policy-makers but also society, including the devoutly Islamic camp

Proud To Be a Turk (Especially These Days)

from The White Path

[Originally published in Hurriyet Daily News] My friend Riyad Hammad, a Dubai-based Muslim businessman and an advocate of classical liberalism, sent me an e-mail the other day. His title was telltale: “In Turkey, we Trust.” This was just one of the countless messages that keep coming from the Arab world with regards to Turkey. Some of these are even plainly visible, as the Turkish flag flies in the hands of thousands of non-Turks in the protests against Israeli policies across the world. The star-crescent, I bet, has never become this popular beyond its homeland. And all this makes me proud as a Turk. I can even say that Atatürk’s famous phrase – “how happy is the one who says I am a Turk” – looks more meaningful to me now then ever before.

Have you ever seen a weeping commando?

The Israeli propaganda machine has begun working overtime. The first object is to make people forget the essence of the incident and show the criminals as innocent.

Israel, Hamas: Selective human rights advocacy and Gülen?s message by ORHAN KEMAL CENGİZ

For almost the last 20 years I have been observing the human rights movement in Turkey. There is something which makes it strong and weak at the same time.

YAVUZ BAYDAR – Israel lobby?s worldview is closer to Bush than Obama

Certainly, much of it has to do with perceptions and denial. Just as the majority of Greeks still do not seem to understand the true meaning and impact of the economic crisis, the majority of the Israeli people show the same pattern.

BERİL DEDEOĞLU – Gaza: A test for Turkey

The Israeli military raid on the aid flotilla heading for Gaza has sparked a heated debate both in Turkey and in Israel. One of the dimensions of this debate is the supposed Islamization of Turkey, emphasized especially by the Western world?s hawkish politicians.

Turkey Goes From Pliable Ally to Thorn for U.S.

Turkey has recently asserted a new approach in the Middle East, its words and methods as likely to provoke Washington as to advance its own interests.

Turkey’s new policies give U.S. pause

from Yahoo news
Turkey’s image as a secular friend of Israel and the United States has been shaken as public anger flares over Israel’s bloody seizure of a Turkish-flagged aid ship headed to the Gaza Strip.

Egypt’s Waning Influence

from NYT > Turkey by By ALASTAIR CROOKE
The Palestinian cause is passing out of Egypt’s hands.

Israel allows some once-banned products into Gaza

from Hurriyet Dailynews
Israel has allowed some previously banned food items into the Gaza Strip, officials said taking a small step toward easing its three-year-old blockade of the territory after worldwide criticism of last week’s deadly raid on a Gaza-bound international flotilla.

Israël et la Turquie

by acturca

Le Monde (France), 4 juin 2010, p. 20

Alain Frachon

Ce qui s?est passé cette semaine au large de Gaza confirme un revirement majeur au Proche-Orient : la fin de la relation privilégiée entre Israël et la Turquie. C?est un moment-clé. Il marque l?aboutissement d?une évolution amorcée il y a quelques années : Ankara prend ses distances à l?égard de son vieil allié, pour se rapprocher du monde arabe.

Israël-Turquie : de l?alliance au désamour

by acturca

Le Figaro (France), 3 juin 2010, p. 14

Alexandre Adler

L?essayiste analyse l?évolution des relations entre les deux pays, liée aux événements récents de Gaza. Toute l?affaire pourrait se décliner dans les deux phrases canoniques que l?on attribue à Talleyrand : «  Pire qu?un crime, c?est une faute » ; et «  on peut tout faire avec des baïonnettes sauf s?asseoir dessus » . Dans une tragédie absolument classique marquée par l?unité de temps (une seule nuit) et de lieu (des eaux internationales protégées par des conventions universellement respectées), le gouvernement israélien actuel a accompli ce que, faute de mieux, on ne peut qualifier que de passage à l?acte. Comme dans tous les actes névrotiques, la préparation est maintenant perceptible de longue date : frappé plus qu?il ne veut bien le dire par le véritable désamour d?une Turquie qui fut longtemps son allié principal dans la région, Israël a multiplié les faux pas et la brutalité.

Turkey Again Holds Exercise Sans Israel

from Yahoo news
ANKARA [MENL] — Turkey has banned Israel from another major military exercise. Copyrights 2008, Middle East Newsline. All rights reserved.

EMRE USLU – The undeclared war between Israel and Turkey?

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan finally did it. He said Hamas is not a terrorist organization. Now the pro-Israeli media is putting a spin on that statement and trying to argue that Erdoğan is supporting a terrorist organization, Hamas.

İBRAHİM ÖZTÜRK – Economic implications of Turkish-Israeli conflict (I)

Turkey has been judged to have been in line with the policies of a US-Israeli alliance in its region since the Cold War era. Such an alliance actually means very little for the Turkish public. It is also not possible to mention any favorable contributions from this collaboration to the development of the Turkish economy.

LALE KEMAL – Turkish-Israeli military ties

The dramatic events that took place in the international waters of the Mediterranean on the last day of May, during which nine Turkish activists were killed by Israeli commandos, have put Turkish-Israeli military ties, and whether or not they should be frozen in retaliation, back on the agenda.

As Turkey Flexes Regional Muscle, Ties With U.S. Sour

from Yahoo news
Turkey plays a key role in U.S. efforts on two major foreign policy issues: Iran and Mideast peace. But strains are showing in the Turkish-U.S. relationship after Israel’s raid last week on a Turkish vessel carrying activists to Gaza ended with nine onboard killed.

Turkey’s Zero-Problems Foreign Policy

from Yahoo news
Today, Turkey has a great deal of say in the international arena. More importantly, there is a critical group of countries that lends a careful ear to Turkey’s stance on a myriad of regional and international issues.

Clinton Says Opponents of Penalties Can Still Aid Diplomacy

from NYT > Turkey by By MARK LANDLER
The secretary of state said Brazil and Turkey voted against sanctions to keep the door open diplomatically to Tehran.

Turkey’s relations with Iran

from Yahoo news
(Reuters) – Turkey, a non-permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, voted against a resolution by the world body on Wednesday to widen sanctions against Iran over its disputed nuclear programme.

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