WorldNet Daily (Link) - Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin (January 12, 2009)
Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip could affect its relationships with Turkey, impact U.S. Middle East policy and even push Turkey closer to Iran, which supports Hamas in Gaza, security experts say, according to a report from Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has decried Israeli action in the Gaza Strip, accusing the Jewish state of "perpetrating inhuman actions which would bring it to self-destruction. Allah will sooner or later punish those who transgress the rights of innocents."
Although Turkey is a non-Arab Muslim nation, it has been one of Israel's closest allies in the region. For years, it has had a close military cooperative arrangement which has included Israeli renovation of Turkish tanks, joint naval and air force maneuvers, weapons sales and the use of Israeli technology to police Turkey's porous borders.
At the same time, Turkey has close economic and military ties with Iran. While their history has pitted them as rivals, they have growing trade relations and are negotiating expanded energy cooperation. Because of the links to Iran, Erdogan has offered to the incoming Obama administration to be a mediator with Tehran. Such an offer may not last, because Obama and his security team have declared the 1915 killing by Turkey under the Ottoman of more than 600,000 Armenians to be genocide. The Turkish government adamantly opposes the view.
Hamas claims the attacks occurred due to continued Israeli blockade of the entrances into the Gaza Strip, preventing humanitarian assistance from reaching its 1.4 million Palestinian inhabitants. But Israel charges that avenues for resupply of humanitarian assistance also are being used to bring in weapons into the Gaza Strip from Iran and other locations.
Turkish reaction to Israel's military action in Gaza, if it remains at the current level, could have a severe impact on efforts toward a Middle East accommodation, given that Turkey is a long-time conduit for discussions between Israel and Syria.