Turkey’s ambassador to the U.S. has threatened to sever diplomatic relations with Israel unless it apoligizes for its attack on a Turkish aid ship, agrees to an international investigation and ends its Gaza siege:
A senior Turkish diplomat warned that his country might sever diplomatic relations with Israel unless its government apologized for the attack, in which nine Turkish citizens were killed; consented to an international investigation; and lifted its blockade of Gaza.
“Israel is about to lose a friend; this is going to be a historical mistake,” said the diplomat, Namik Tan, Turkey’s ambassador to Washington. “The future of our relationship will be determined by Israel’s actions.”
The ambassador too bristles at the Obama adminstration’s less than robust response:
The United States has tried to mollify Turkey, with long meetings and phone calls to Turkish leaders by Mr. Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Mr. Tan said Turkey appreciated American pressure on Israel to release the passengers and return the bodies from the ship. But he repeated Turkey’s disappointment over the Americans’ refusal to condemn Israel.
“There is no word of condemnation, nowhere,” said Mr. Tan, who was once Turkey’s ambassador to Israel.
It seems to me with the news that the Turkish dead may’ve been shot execution style during the assault on the ship that Turkey has no choice but to go down this road. All I can say is that if Obama doesn’t get religion on this and but quick he may lose an ally who he’ll need more in the long run than he will Israel. Not to mention that the Turkish demands are in Israel’s long-term interests as well (though no Israeli politician could admit this).
I just read a breaking news item on the Haaretz ticker that says Prime Minister Erdogan has offered to join the next Turksih aid convoy to Gaza. I find that hard to believe. But still the idea of it should concern Israel.