Turkey, via their Deputy Prime Minister, is putting the word out on the street that it is open to a restoration of ties with Israel, even acknowledging that it is NOT Turkey’s place to criticize the recent Israeli election:
HURRIYET DAILY – Turkey hopes re-elected Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will take steps to both mend ties with Turkey and pursue a sustainable peace with Palestine, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç told Israeli broadcaster Channel 2, in a rare interview following a rupture due to the Mavi Marmara incident in 2010.
Describing the election of Netanyahu as a “success,” Arınç said in a video broadcast on the website of the channel that “Turkey expects and hopes the Israeli government will express its strong political will to end strife with Palestine.”
“Thus, if Netanyahu is to make a new start, if he will make a gesture to Turkey to boost confidence in terms of restoring relations, we think that it would be right that he expresses that his will for peace is strong,” he said.
Arınç also said removing the blockade on Gaza and choosing Turkey as a good partner would help maintain peace in the Middle East and correspondingly help guarantee Israel’s security, he said.
It is not right for Turkey to comment negatively or positively about the elections in Israel as that it is a matter only for the Israeli people, Arınç said.
Wow. The admitted refusal to criticize Israel over the election is definitely a change of pace for Turkey. I mean, when has Erdogan ever missed an opportunity to openly bash Israel? He was just ripping Netanyahu in January for just showing up to the Paris march against ‘radical Islam’, accusing him of killing 2500 Palestinians in the war last year.
But now all of a sudden Erdogan is quiet, especially after Netanyahu’s ‘Arab busing’ comment?
This silence has caught the attention of a writer at Al-Monitor, who writes this:
The forceful way in which Obama has expressed himself lately in regard to Netanyahu magnifies Erdogan’s reticence toward the Israeli prime minister’s remarks. Over the past few years, Erdogan has not missed an opportunity to attack the Israeli government over its treatment of the Palestinians. During his election campaign for the presidency in summer 2014, he crossed certain red lines in the language and images he used, calling Israeli politicians “worse than Hitler” and accusing them of attempted genocide in the Gaza Strip.
During the Israeli election campaign, the right wing provided more than enough “old-school ammunition” to Erdogan, who is currently leading his Justice and Development Party in a parliamentary election campaign, with balloting scheduled for June 7. Yet, Erdogan remained absolutely silent. Ibrahim Kalin, Erdogan’s devoted adviser, even published a moderate and thoughtful analysis March 24 about the Israeli election results. Although he mentioned Netanyahu’s controversial remarks, he also tried to convince his readers that the only way for Netanyahu to achieve his goal of a secure Israel is through a just and lasting peace with the Palestinians.
I assure you this silence isn’t a coincidence. I think Erdogan knows that Netanyahu isn’t going anywhere for a while and if he wants to create an environment in which they can make a future covenant with Israel, then they need to start making friends fast.