Turkey's embrace of Israel
Turkey's embrace of Israel
The Turkish government has once again demonstrated its true allegiance to western powers, whilst incurring the wrath of Muslims everywhere, with its decision to allow the Israeli President, Shimon Peres, to address the Turkish parliament as part of a preamble to American inspired "peace negotiations" in the Middle East. This is the first time an Israeli leader has addressed a parliament in the Muslim world and serves to highlight the warm and friendly relationship that the secular ruling elites of the Muslim world have with the Zionist occupiers and oppressors.
The invitation to Peres follows more than a decade of reciprocity between Turkish governments and the Israeli State that mirrors the betrayal undertaken by Sadat in 1979 and Hussein of Jordan in 1994 in normalising relations. In 1994, Turkey and Israel revealed the Security and Secrecy Agreement signed by the Tansu Ciller government. Successive Turkish governments, even those that claim to be Islamic, have endorsed this agreement and it is now termed a strategic alliance. During these years Turkey has forged close relationships with the Zionist entity; a military pact that involves joint military training, arms sales and transfer of technology; the use of Israeli know how to equip and upgrade Turkish F4 and F5 fighter jets and combat planes as well as update and modernise its tanks and helicopter divisions; joint co-operation and production of missile defence systems; shared naval exercises and intelligence sharing. A free trade agreement was also signed in 2000 to foster closer economic ties. In return, Turkey has bankrolled the Israeli defence and armaments industries to the tune of millions of dollars and permitted Israel the use of its air space for training exercises.
Yet far from granting Turkey any leverage over Israeli actions these relations seem to be pushing it in the direction of endorsing Israeli brutality. In last year's attacks and assault on Lebanon the Turkish army instead of offering support to its brethren being terrorised by Israel was ready to comply with a NATO request for Turkish troops to patrol a ceasefire, thereby sanctioning Israel's invasion and aggression.
Prior to that Turkey had played a significant role in exporting its own treachery by facilitating the Musharaff regime's overtures towards Israel in proposing the idea of recognition of the Zionist State. In September this year, it has been reported, Israel conducted an air raid on an alleged Syrian nuclear plant whilst using Turkish air space en route.
In 2004, Turkey signed a water- for- arms deal with Israel which would involve water being shipped to Israel in huge tankers in return for arms and weapons. It was a desperate life line for Israel which has little access to fresh water reserves. Any water it does receive is currently stolen from the neighbouring West Bank (80%) where it is drilled but at the same time denying Palestinians access to drinking water that they own themselves. What little water is made available to the Palestinians is often been polluted and contaminated by sewage from Israeli settlements.
It is clear that the secular elites in Turkey-whether in government or the army-have not used their close ties with Israel for any advantage. Indeed, during these past years of Turkey and Israel's alliance, Israeli brutality on Masjid Al-Aqsa has intensified, illegal settlements have expanded, further Palestinian land has been encroached upon, an apartheid wall has been built as well as the killing of innocent women and children. Instead of resisting this aggression Turkey's elites have colluded with the Zionist entity in ever increasing forms, by securing Israel's defence industries with the purchase of weapons and providing much needed water resources.
It is abundantly clear that on a host of past and contemporary issues the gulf between the ruling elites of the Muslim world and the Muslim Ummah has reached a chasm. Within Turkey the majority of Muslims know view America and her allies as anti-Muslim and a threat to peace whilst the AKP government continue to support the Bush administration in its disastrous war on terror. The overwhelming opposition to America's war on Iraq in 2003 contrasted with a ‘neutral' position by the then Turkish government. What is less well known is the permission Turkey gave to US forces and weapons to use its territory as a staging post in the months prior to the invasion.
The Muslim world clamours for independence and end to colonialist meddling. Instead, successive Turkish governments have been used by the US to firstly join NATO in 1952 as a bulwark against Soviet expansionism and more recently as a base to prosecute the war on Afghanistan. Muslims worldwide desire unity and brotherhood yet Turkey has done the opposite with its divisive nationalism and unjust policies against Kurds thus fuelling hatred and separatism. Turkish politicians and army generals continue to cling on to preserving the vestiges of Mustapha Kemal's secular system and joining Europe's exclusive Christian club European Union whereas the demands for the return of the Khilafah now resonate through every Muslim capital and city.