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March 17, 2011

Turkey refused Israeli request to intercept ship carrying Iranian arms to Hamas in Gaza

Topics: International News, Middle East News and Perspectives

In a further development on this story and what is yet another indication that Turkey has abandonment its pro-Western secularist position, including its alliance with Israel, and has embraced the Iran and the Islamic world's agenda, Israel has affirmed that Turkey refused an Israeli request to intercept the "Victoria" cargo vessel that carried weapons being smuggled to Hamas in the Gaza Strip:

GAZA, March 16 (KUNA) -- Israel affirmed Wednesday that Turkey refused an Israeli request to intercept the "Victoria" cargo vessel which, according to Israeli sources, carried weapons being smuggled to help Palestinian activities in the Gaza Strip.
According to Maariv Israeli newspaper, Israel requested Ankara to intercept the cargo vessel, a request which Turkey flatly refused.

Israel had stopped the ship which was hoisting the Turkish and Liberian flags, indicated the newspaper, adding that the cargo consisted of weapons suspected to be shipped to Palestinian factions.

Israel, however, did not hold any of the two states accountable for the items discovered on the ship, indicated the newspaper.

Meanwhile, the Jerusalem post indicated that a cargo vessel, intercepted early Tuesday morning, contained Chinese-made anti-ship missiles and other kinds of weaponry.

Turkey's embrace of the Islamist world and its distancing itself from the West and Israel isn't new news; it's been going on for some time now. As Daniel Pipes wrote back in October 09, Turkey is no longer an ally of the West:
[...] In brief, Davutoglu envisions reduced conflict with neighbors and Turkey emerging as a regional power, a sort-of modernized Ottoman Empire. Implicit in this strategy is a distancing of Turkey from the West in general and Israel in particular. Although not presented in Islamist terms, "strategic depth" closely fits the AK party's Islamist world view.

As Barry Rubin notes, "the Turkish government is closer politically to Iran and Syria than to the United States and Israel." Caroline Glick, a Jerusalem Post columnist, goes further: Ankara already "left the Western alliance and became a full member of the Iranian axis." But official circles in the West seem nearly oblivious to this momentous change in Turkey's allegiance or its implications.

More recently, Turkey has solidified its ties with Iran by the Turkish President Abdullah Gul having visited Iran just days after reports came out that Turkey had agreed to train the Syrian army. Only days ago Turkey expressed opposition to NATO intervention in Libya.

Clearly, Turkey has left its secular stance and has taken a sharp Islamist turn, and can no longer be counted on as an ally of the West. Turkey has shown us that the more power Islamists get, the greater the slide away from real democracy, freedom, tolerance, and alliance with the West. Undoubtedly, we'll always eventually regret it whenever Islamists get involved in the democratic process ... as has already happened in Turkey and is happening now in Egypt. More simply put, Islam and true democracy are as about as compatible as night and day.

Related: Turkey Is No Good Model, Erdogan

Posted by Richard at March 17, 2011 10:04 AM

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