Are we witnessing a major shake-up in the region with Turkey going Islamist and becoming part of the anti-Western Islamic Jihad bloc? Will Gaza, the Palestinians, and the "Flotilla" affair be successfully and skillfully used to focus Turkish public attention on the "demonic Jews" while the throat of secular Turkey is slit? Forbes offers this interesting analysis out of Istanbul:
Erdogan's Dangerous RhetoricYour thoughts?
"ISTANBUL -- Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's speech upon his return to Turkey from meeting President Obama was greeted in some quarters with relief. "At least he didn't declare war," said one headline. Understandably, the confrontation between Israeli commandos and the Mavi Marmara has consumed the media here. And though it seemed, at first, that the national mood was one of shock followed by outrage, already numerous gently demurring voices have begun to break the surface. The prime minister's speeches showed no such restraint: "Even bullies, pirates and criminals have a code of honor," he said, "but for those who have none, it would be a compliment to call them such names."Condemning Israel for harming innocents, Erdogan added, "Even in a war, you don't attack women, children and religious personnel," (without, of course, elaborating on what to do if the latter happen to be combatants, as they often are in Islamist circles). The prime minister has traveled the country in a kind of victory tour inciting massed crowds to chant anti-Israeli slogans, repeatedly citing "Thou Shalt Not Kill" as being explicitly a commandment from the Torah and therefore all the greater a sin when committed by Israel. Some 22 national leaders are currently in Istanbul for a conference of Eurasian nations; Erdogan is publicly flogging the issue there, too.The atmosphere in Turkey is highly combustible and open to political exploitation. Photos of bashed and bleeding young Israeli commandos published in the leading newspaper, Hurriyet--thereby confirming Israel's self-defense argument--elicited cries of "traitor" and threats. Meanwhile, the Mavi Marmara events coincided with a string of guerrilla attacks in the country by the Kurdish terror group PKK. These included an unprecedented operation against off-duty navy personnel in the non-Kurdish port town of Iskenderun, which left six dead and seven wounded. In the anti-Israeli side of the docket one can include attempts by highly placed Turkish officials to link the two--that is to suggest Israeli support of the PKK--and ubiquitous voices asserting that no Israeli inquiry into the Mavi Marmara raid can be dependable." -more