Despite the fear and the trembling, the weak knees and the repeated calls for caution and restraint from the Israeli Foreign Office, the same Foreign Office that only a couple of days ago went for the throat of Western European states that provide an all important strategic support to Israel, the Education Committee of the Knesset has finally held a discussion on the Armenian Holocaust, a national disaster in which over a million and a half Armenian were massacred by the Turks during the first world war. Let’s hope that this is the first of many long overdue Israeli steps: the production of a TV series based on historical research documenting the Armenian Holocaust, and its distribution around the world, the leading of a UN move to bring to fruition the legitimate aspirations of the Kurdish people for a state of their own which will also be a thorn in the back side of Syria, Iran and Iraq, and a common declaration with Greece and Cyprus regarding the uncompromising defence of the East Mediterranean gas fields against the threats of those who are trying to use gunboat diplomacy against them.
As a result of their foreign policy which is being shaped and managed almost exclusively by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu and is carried out with great enthusiasm by Prime Minister Erdoğan and President Gül, the Turks find themselves these days increasingly isolated. Israel is cancelling contracts for the sale of sensitive military technology, their status in NATO is deteriorating, their chances of ever being accepted as members of the European Union are fading, their wonderful friendship with Bashar al-Assad has reached a dead end due to the genocide of his own people with which he is busy up to his elbows, and the Iranians to which the Turks were looking up with admiring eyes until recently are threatening to attack bases on Turkish soil in case of an all out regional war. The financial support given by the Turkish government to the terror supporting organization that organised the Marmara’s attempt to sail to Gaza did not land it much respect either.
Those who dream about returning Israeli-Turkish relationships to their former glory can forget about it. Those that hope that the Turkish army will fulfill the role Atatürk entrusted in its hands – the protection of the secular state against an Islamic religious takeover – were already given their answer when Erdoğan replaced the heads of all the armed forces with his Islamist loyalists. High ranking Israeli Air Force officers who love to be filmed in their flying overalls should better stop expressing at every opportunity and with moist eyes their deep hope that one day, somewhere in the pink future, they will be able to exercise again with the Turkish Air Force. This is not going to happen anytime soon.
Those who hope that in an all out regional war Turkey will fight Syria and Iran alongside NATO and Israel are dreaming. Those who fear that Turkey will join the enemy and will direct its air force and navy against Israel can calm down – if the Turks dared to do that, which is highly unlikely, they will discover very quickly that they are dealing not only with Israel but with the might of the US Sixth Fleet, and possibly with British and French warships as well.
The Turks, when demanding an apology from Israel over the events on the Marmara, do not stop talking about their hurt pride and honour. A few days ago Davutoğlu even informed the world that Turkey has finally brought Israel down to its knees. Well, the Turks have no monopoly on honour –Israel’s honour is not less important than the lost honour of Turkey. Israel must stop behaving like a beaten and downtrodden wife who is praying for her bullying and abusive husband’s return after he disappeared for a prolonged romp with another woman.