Bipartisan Senate Letter Rebukes Turkey for Worsening Israel Ties

Erdogan condemns Israel for its assault on Gaza at Davos.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stormed out of a heated debate at the 2009 World Economic Forum in Davos after launching a tirade against Israeli leader Shimon Peres, telling him: “When it comes to killing, you know very well how to kill.”

WASHINGTON–A bipartisan letter sent to the Turkish Embassy from 10 US senators on December 7 sharply rebuked the Turkish government for the “downward trend of relations between Turkey and Israel this past year,” reported the Weekly Standard’s Blog on Monday.

The letter, led by Senators Nelson and Collins, was addressed to the then Turkish Ambassador Nabi Sensoy, who abruptly resigned from his post and requested a transfer to the Turkish Foreign Ministry after President Obama met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Washington DC on December 7.

Nevertheless it stressed that the Senators had “grown increasingly concerned” over the “downward trend of relations between Turkey and Israel this past year.”

The senators point in particular to the Turkish government’s exclusion of Israel from a recent NATO exercise, prompting the United States to pull out and the exercise to be canceled, the Standard said, adding that Senator Gillibrand also noted the “pro-Iran statements” recently emanating from Istanbul in a letter to supporters.

“Turkey’s exclusion of Israel from the recent exercise, Anatolian Eagle, which was also to include U.S. and NATO forces, was both unexpected and disappointing,” the letter said. “It is our hope that any political obstacles between Turkey and Israel can be overcome and that historic levels of cooperation will resume as quickly as possible.”

Despite the rebuke, the Senators said they agreed with Obama’s overall vision of a “reinvigorated US-Turkish relations.” The letter described Turkey as a “vital leader” in regional security and a “key” U.S. partner in NATO and the UN Security Council and commended Erdogan for his trip to the United States. It also praised the Turkish embassy for its role in “working to strengthen the U.S.-Turkish partnership.”

According to the blog, however, President Obama’s repeated overtures to the Muslim world have failed to lead relations with Turkey on a productive course. One source, it said, claimed Erdogan’s meeting with President Obama was “tense” and included some “sharp exchanges, primarily over Iran.”

“The recent visit of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan is the peg for the letter. That trip, according to an official at one major Jewish organization, marked the first visit in recent memory of a Turkish prime minister that did not include a meeting with leaders of America’s Jewish community,” the blog said.

Signing onto the letter, which can be viewed here, were: Senators Bill Nelson, Susan Collins, Benjamin Cardin, Kristen E. Gillibrand, James Risch, James Inhofe, Russell Feingold, Frank Lautenberg, Edward Kaufman, and Robert Casey, Jr.


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  1. zaven said:

    I just love how disturbed Peres is in the background of the photo above! It is by far the most telling of expressions.
    One minute, one minute, ONE MINUTE!!!!! hahahahaa

    • Armen said:

      Personally I wouldn’t waste time analyzing the theatrics between Israel and Turkey, Gaza issues and so on. This is what I think:
      1.       Israel doesn’t care about Armenian issues. They think they hold the monopoly for suffering. Nobody else’s suffering can surpass theirs.
      2.       Israel’s ONLY concern is their survival. Right now Iran is the only risk in the region. They’ve been trying for years, to have a relationship with Turkey by selling them arms. The hope was to have a foothold in Turkey which could facilitate the bombing of Northern remote mountains in Iran.
      3.       Now they are trying the same with Azeris, and hurting Armenia by selling them arms, building assembly plants for military vehicles and training their army. They are really not on the side of Armenia.

  2. Dr. Giggles said:

    Peres’ look, is one that pretty much says, “We helped propagate the denialist lies Turkey’s clowns were pushing on the world regarding the Armenian Genocide. And we hypocritically, as Jews, through our organizations helped prevent proper recognition of the murder of Armenians year after year; now look at how our invested political capitol is being handled/repaid by this backstabber, Erdogan an Co.”
    While so far Turkey’s speeches are only insulting rhetoric to Israel, I would not be surprised to see Turkey pull a 180 switcheroo on NATO and Israel if (or rather) when Iran gets nuclear capabilities by telling the US and Israel to go fly a kite in order to back Iran a la a “Muslim brotherhood”; much akin to its ties with Azerbaijan. Now that would be as close to “mud in your political eye” as one could witness given the amount the US and Israel have helped Turkey in Armenian Genocide denials.

  3. gharakhanian said:

    zaven and Dr. Giggles, you guys are killing me am dying here Lol to tears. yeah he looks confused, like, he is thinking, did we, one second did we, create this fool, we paid for this fool? he is not worried about the jabber mouth, he is thinking of killing the brainless guys that put him there.

  4. Pingback: Bipartisan Senate Letter Rebukes Turkey for Worsening Israel Ties … | armeniatoday

  5. Pingback: Bipartisan Senate Letter Rebukes Turkey for Worsening Israel Ties … | Turkey Live

  6. GB said:

    Activities of NATO forces in Turkey means nothing anymore..Turks reaction in Syrian and Iraqi internal wars proved to NATO and US forces that Turkey’s inability to help them in combat zones ….US looking for a new partner in Middle East who has more effective, decisive forces, like Iran!!