Erdogan Warns Israel of Consequences to ‘Losing Turkey’

ANKARA (Today’s Zaman)–Israel should contemplate the results of losing an ally like Turkey, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cautioned, while highlighting that the continuation of bilateral cooperation in several fields would not be possible in the absence of mutual trust.  

Erdogan gave his remarks in an interview with the Euronews television channel’s new Turkish language service on Saturday. He was asked to comment on how he regarded the future of Turkish-Israeli relations.

“After all that has happened, do you still think Turkey can mediate between Israel and Syria and other Arab states,” Euronews asked, in an apparent reference to the fact that bilateral relations were further strained recently after Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon’s ill-treatment of Turkish Ambassador in Tel Aviv Ahmet Oguz Celikkol last month.

“Losing a friend like Turkey in the future should be an issue to which Israel should give some thought as to what it would be like,” Erdogan said. “The behavior towards our ambassador has no place in international diplomacy. We have done our best for Israeli-Syrian relations.”

Israel and Syria held four indirect rounds of peace talks with Turkish mediation in 2008, but they were suspended following the deadly Israeli offensive in Gaza at the end of 2008.

“But now we see Benjamin Netanyahu saying ‘I do not trust Erdogan, but I trust [French President Nicolas] Sarkozy.’ Do you have to mention names? This is lacking in diplomacy, too. Because when you say this … how can I trust you if you say you don’t trust me? At the moment, we have very significant agreements between us and Israel. How can these agreements be kept going in this climate of mistrust? I think Israel had better take another look at its relations with its neighbors if it believes it is a world power,” Erdogan said.

In the fall of 2009, Netanyahu was quoted as saying that he objected to Turkey resuming its role as mediator and did not see how the country could become “an honest broker” between the two sides.

Weeks after Israel’s deputy foreign minister enraged Turkey by summoning Ankara’s ambassador for a humiliating public reprimand, a report by the Israeli Foreign Ministry’s Center for Political Research last week accused Erdogan of fueling anti-Semitism with his criticism of Israel.

Recalling the report, Euronews asked Erdogan whether he felt that he could have handled his criticism against Israel more diplomatically.

“I am telling the truth and I will keep telling the truth,” Erdogan said. “Turkey is a state which has a centuries-old history. When you talk to such a state you must be careful. When innocent civilians are ruthlessly killed, struck by phosphorus bombs, the infrastructure is destroyed by bombs and people are forced to live in an open-air prison, we cannot see this as compatible with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, simply human rights, and we cannot close our eyes to all this happening.”

Sarkozy also got his share of criticism from Erdogan over his opposition to Turkey joining the European Union.

EU membership has been “a dream for our country for half a century,” Erdogan said, determined to press on with the project.

“Mr. Sarkozy sometimes says things that reason cannot accept. But no matter what he says, we will continue, unless the EU members all say they do not want Turkey,” Erdogan said when asked about Sarkozy’s opposition to Turkish membership.

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7 Comments

  1. Manvel said:

    Does Turkey speak any other language other then threatening other countries?   It is time somebody puts them in their proper place.

  2. Grish Begian said:

    This is a typical “lip job” that Erdogan of Turkey assigned to act… Israelis learning too late, that Turks have no political influence,  especially in Middle East.  Turkish leaders trying to export their internal political unsolved problems, toward  Europe and Israel.

  3. Ferhat said:

    Who cares about turkey..Israel can do without a Genocidal country.
    erdogan is talking about innocent civilians killed…his memory is cheating him blind…how about 3 million innocent Armenian civilians that were massacred? How about 750,000 massacred Greeks civilians, the 1 million Albanians, 500,000 Serbs, 4 million Europeans, 86,000 Kurds..and the list is too long…no wonder erdogan can’t remember anything, because he lost count of innocent civilians murdered by his beloved turkey.
    Ironic, isn’t it?
    Ferhat

  4. Santen Magar said:

    What’s with this Erdogan guy? Somebody appointed him the spokesman of the “Holier Than Thou” group? Does he think that he is some new Ataturk that instead of telling his uneducated coutryman what to do he can do the same to the world?
    He need to sit down, take some Colon clensing appointments and sip on a good old hot “Ishkembe Chorba” before he opens his mouth again.

  5. manooshag said:

    Hye, unbelieveable… the turk blames the rest of the world nations for all that is not going well
    for turkey… as it was after WWI.  Turkey was on losing side, and in WWII – turkey never did much as, this time ‘allied’ with the Allies – but cleverly joined at the very latest possible moment so as to be on the ‘winning side’ – this time.  And today, blames all others for their convoluted
    Ottoman oriented leaderships.  This last week, jailing a 15 year old girl child, a Kurd, who was in the wrong place at the wrong time.  And, learned judges of Turkey have obscenely sentenced … her to years in the vilest jails – Turkish jails – shades of MIDNIGHT EXPRESS. 
    Manooshag

  6. most pessimist optimist said:

    is erdogan suffering from amnesia of how the armenians were ruthlessly butchered by his grandfathers, i guess turks didn’t care about human rights then, how good that they do now, lucky palestinians

  7. Guido said:

    The palestinians get clobbered by israel in their own homelands, but bad as it is, it’s still not as extreme as the way armenians got butchered and expelled  from theirs by turkey.  The spectacle of Turkey lecturing, hectoring and threatening Israel is a black comedy. The blind gouging out the eyes of the blind.

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