THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA

An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis
Volume XII, Issue # June 98, June 10, 2010
Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor
Government Committed to & Acting in Accord with Conservative Principles
Ensures a Nation's Strength, Progress, & Prosperity
Home Page   Main Menu   Recent Articles   Site Map   Website Index   Issues & Controversies
  Cyberland University   Political Science, Philosophy, & History: Lectures   U.S. Constitution
  American Constitutional Law   American Constitutional System   American Political System
  Conservatism, Liberalism, & Radicalism   How America Goes to War
  World War IV: Islamist Terror War Against the U.S.A. & the West

ERDOGAN & THE ISRAEL CARD
By Steven J. Rosen

TURKEY'S REACTION TO THE GAZA FLOTILLA INCIDENT:  COULD IT BE THAT THERE IS SOMETHING MORE TO TURKISH PRIME MINISTER RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN'S RAGE AGAINST ISRAEL THAN JUST A SPONTANEOUS REACTION TO THE LOSS OF NINE TURKISH LIVES IN THE INCIDENT?  TURKEY'S 2011 ELECTIONS AS HOLDING THE ANSWER TO THE QUESTION OF WHY ERDOGAN DECIDED TO PLAY THE ISRAEL CARD -- WHY TURKEY IS FERTILE GROUND FOR ERDOGAN'S ANTI-ISRAEL & ANTI-SEMITIC DEMAGOGUERY -- ANTI-AMERICANISM IN TURKEY & THE REASONS FOR ITS EXISTENCE -- ANTI-ZIONISM, ANTI-SEMITISM, & ANTI-AMERICANISM AS MUTUALLY REINFORCING & CONVERGING POLITICAL FORCES IN TURKEY
FULL STORY:   The deaths of nine Turkish citizens in the Gaza flotilla incident would have brought a severe reaction under any circumstances. What is nonetheless striking in this incident is the unbridled anger and fiercely hostile reaction of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish public. Mr. Erdogan said Israel was guilty of "state terrorism" and a "bloody massacre." His Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, said "This attack is like 9/11 for Turkey," comparing it to a premeditated act of aggression that took 2,900 lives.

Mr. Erdogan does not always display such reactions to allegations of human rights violations. Last year, he defended Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, indicted by the International Criminal Court for killing half a million Sudanese Christians and non-Arab Muslims. In March, 2010, he denied that Turks ever killed Armenian civilians. He labeled a U.S. congressional resolution on the Armenian deaths "a comedy, a parody." He said that the Turkish military garrison stationed in Cyprus since 1974 is "not an occupier" but "[ensures] the peace." On tens of thousands of Kurds killed by Turkish security forces from 1984 to 1999, he says nothing.

Could it be that there is something more to Mr. Erdogan's rage against Israel than just a spontaneous reaction to the loss of life here?

Turkish elections, 13 months away, hold the answer. Backing for Mr. Erdogan's party has fallen to 29%, the lowest level since it won power in 2002 and far below the 47% it scored in July, 2007. So, Mr. Erdogan decided to play the Israel Card.

He tested this tactic in January, 2009, in a confrontation with Israeli President Shimon Peres at Davos. Mr. Peres asked him in front of the cameras: "What would you do if you were to have in Istanbul every night a hundred rockets?" Mr. Erdogan shot back, "When it comes to killing, you know very well how to kill." Thousands of Turks applauded Mr. Erdogan's performance, greeting him with a hero's welcome and a sea of Turkish and Palestinian flags upon his return home to Ataturk Airport.

Mr. Erdogan's anger at the Israeli blockade is even more popular among his countrymen. In fact, 61% of Turks surveyed in one poll did not find his rage sufficient. "The public is in such a state that they almost want war against Israel," the pollster commented. "I think this is widespread in almost all levels of society." Mr. Erdogan has become a hero in the Muslim world, where he is seen as the "new Nasser," in the words of one Saudi writer.

The truth is that friendship toward Israel was always limited to the Turkish secular elites, including the military chiefs. Turkey is fertile ground for Mr. Erdogan's demagoguery because many ordinary people are raised to dislike Israel and dare it be said Jews. In April, 2010, the BBC World Service Poll found negative views of Israel among 77% of Turks.

Jews, as a people, fare no better than the Jewish state. In the 2009 Pew Global Attitudes survey, 73% of Turks rated their opinions of Jews as "negative." Meanwhile, 68% of Turks rated their opinions of Christians as "negative."

Turks don't like the United States much more than they do Israel. The same BBC poll found negative views of the U.S.A. among 70% of Turks, one of only two countries where perceptions of the United States actually worsened after the election of Barack Obama (positives fell to 13% from 21%, and negatives increased to 70% from 63%).

Nor is it the case that anti-Americanism in Turkey is primarily a response to U.S. support for Israel. Many Turkish citizens view the U.S.A. as anti-Muslim and see the war on terror as an anti-Muslim crusade across the Middle East. Turks resent the rich "imperialist" superpower and believe that the U.S.A. invaded Iraq for oil.

Islamists and the Turkish Left suspect that the U.S.A. and NATO propped up a succession of Turkish governments backed by the military. Others believe that the U.S.A. supports the Iraqi Kurds and may plan to create a Kurdish state in Iraq. And most remain convinced that members of the U.S. Congress who vote for Turkish genocide resolutions do so under the influence of Armenian-Americans, who are more numerous than Americans of Turkish origin.

Anti-American feelings in Turkey exist independently of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism, but these three phenomena are mutually reinforcing and convergent. More disturbingly, parallels to these trends pervade much of the Muslim world. What the flotilla incident demonstrates is that igniting this tinderbox of hostility toward Israel, Jews, and America does not take much of a spark.


LINKS TO RELATED TOPICS:
Turkey, the Middle East, & the U.S.A.

American Foreign Policy -- The Middle East

Israel & the Arabs -- The Israeli-Arab Conflict

Middle East:  Arabs, Arab States,
& Their Middle Eastern Neighbors

Islamism & Jihadism -- The Threat of Radical Islam
Page Three    Page Two    Page One

International Politics & World Disorder:
War, Peace, & Geopolitics in the Real World:
Foreign Affairs & U.S. National Security

   Page Two    Page One

Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.

Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization

Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies

U.S. National Security Strategy



Steven J. Rosen is the Director of the Washington Project of the Middle East Forum.


The foregoing article by Mr. Rosen was originally published in the Wall Street Journal, June 10, 2010, and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum, a foreign policy think tank which seeks to define and promote American interests in the Middle East, defining U.S. interests to include fighting radical Islam, working for Palestinian Arab acceptance of the State of Israel, improving the management of U.S. efforts to promote constitutional democracy in the Middle East, reducing America's energy dependence on the Middle East, more robustly asserting U.S. interests vis--vis Saudi Arabia, and countering the Iranian threat. (Article URL: http://www.meforum.org/2668/erdogan-and-the-israel-card)


Republished with Permission of the Middle East Forum
Reprinted from the Middle East Forum News
mefnews@meforum.org (MEF NEWS)
June 10, 2010




Return to Top of Page

Go to the WEBSITE INDEX

Return to Beginning of
THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA,
Public Issues & Political Controversies


Return to Beginning of
THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA
Most Recent Articles


Return to Beginning of
THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA,
Volume XII, 2010


Return to Beginning of
THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA,
Subject Matter Highlights


Return to POLITICAL EDUCATION Homepage

CONTACT & ACCESS INFORMATION




LINKS TO PARTICULAR ISSUES & SUBJECT MATTER CATEGORIES
TREATED IN THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, U.S.A.:

Africa: Black Africa * Africa: North Africa * American Government 1
American Government 2 * American Government 3 * American Government 4
American Government 5 * American Politics * Anglosphere * Arabs
Arms Control & WMD * Aztlan Separatists * Big Government
Black Africa * Bureaucracy * Canada * China * Civil Liberties * Communism
Congress, U.S. * Conservative Groups * Conservative vs. Liberal
Constitutional Law * Counterterrorism * Criminal Justice * Disloyalty * Economy
Education * Elections, U.S. * Eminent Domain * Energy & Environment
English-Speaking World * Ethnicity & Race * Europe * Europe: Jews
Family Values * Far East * Fiscal Policy, U.S. * Foreign Aid, U.S. * Foreign Policy, U.S.
France * Hispanic Separatism * Hispanic Treason * Human Health * Immigration
Infrastructure, U.S. * Intelligence, U.S. * Iran * Iraq * Islamic North Africa
Islamic Threat * Islamism * Israeli vs. Arabs * Jews & Anti-Semitism
Jihad & Jihadism * Jihad Manifesto I * Jihad Manifesto II * Judges, U.S. Federal
Judicial Appointments * Judiciary, American * Latin America * Latino Separatism
Latino Treason * Lebanon * Leftists/Liberals * Legal Issues
Local Government, U.S. * Marriage & Family * Media Political Bias
Middle East: Arabs * Middle East: Iran * Middle East: Iraq * Middle East: Israel
Middle East: Lebanon * Middle East: Syria * Middle East: Tunisia
Middle East: Turkey * Militant Islam * Military Defense * Military Justice
Military Weaponry * Modern Welfare State * Morality & Decency
National Identity * National Security * Natural Resources * News Media Bias
North Africa * Patriot Act, USA * Patriotism * Political Culture * Political Ideologies
Political Parties * Political Philosophy * Politics, American * Presidency, U.S.
Private Property * Property Rights * Public Assistance * Radical Islam
Religion & America * Rogue States & WMD * Russia * Science & Ethics
Sedition & Treason * Senate, U.S. * Social Welfare Policy * South Africa
State Government, U.S. * Subsaharan Africa * Subversion * Syria * Terrorism 1
Terrorism 2 * Treason & Sedition * Tunisia * Turkey * Ukraine
UnAmerican Activity * UN & Its Agencies * USA Patriot Act * U.S. Foreign Aid
U.S. Infrastructure * U.S. Intelligence * U.S. Senate * War & Peace
Welfare Policy * WMD & Arms Control


This is not a commercial website. The sole purpose of the website is to share with interested persons information regarding civics, civic and social education, political science, government, politics, law, constitutional law and history, public policy, and political philosophy and history, as well as current and recent political developments, public issues, and political controversies.



POLITICAL EDUCATION, CONSERVATIVE ANALYSIS

POLITICS, SOCIETY, & THE SOVEREIGN STATE

Website of Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr.

Government, Politics, Public Policy, Legal Issues, Constitutional Law, Government & the Economy, Cultural Values, Foreign Affairs, International Relations, Military Defense & National Security, Geopolitics, Terrorism & Homeland Security, American National Interests, Political Systems & Processes, Political Institutions, Political Ideologies, & Political Philosophy

INDEX FOR THE ENTIRE WEBSITE

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, USA

An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis

Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor

Conservative & Free-Market Analysis of Government, Politics & Public Policy, Covering Political, Legal, Constitutional, Economic, Cultural, Military, International, Strategic, & Geopolitical Issues


Conservative Government Ensures a Nation's Strength, Progress, & Prosperity