Turkey Seeks Simultaneous Drilling Halt

October 1, 2011
(Hudson-NY.ORG) Washington is closely monitoring the recent developments on the issue…

Redrawing the Sea: Erdogan says Israel will not be able to move in the eastern Mediterranean as it wishes.
…oh and don’t forget about those
Turkish warships that are being built domestically. oh joy! (Hurriyet)…in the mean time Turkey acts like it is being diplomatic with it’s other neighbors:

(AA.com) Turkish Cypriot President Derviş Eroğlu on Saturday submitted a four-item proposal to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to resolve the spat with Greek Cyprus over drilling in the eastern Mediterranean.
The proposal starts with a bid for both sides to simultaneously suspend oil and gas exploration, a move that seemed to show Turkey’s reluctance to start drilling work in the Mediterranean.
In the first item of the new proposal submitted to Ban, Eroğlu made an offer to the Greek side to “suspend the oil and natural gas exploration simultaneously until a comprehensive solution is found to the Cyprus problem.”
If this is not going to happen, Eroğlu offered to “set up an ad-hoc committee shaped by representatives of both peoples” on the divided island.

Disgusting denial of the correlative. Turkey is on the gas pipeline and has no gas shortages like Europe does. It is not generous at all to meet this demand. Hindering exploration would raise the price of the resource… this would make Turkey profit. It sounds like as if they are making nice, but they are not. Erdogan’s ploy at diplomacy is hostile and manipulative.

“We shall give some authority to the committee, such as [authority over] explorations, agreements and licenses dependent on written approval of both sides, and we will negotiate the ratio of sharing the riches that will be found,” Eroğlu said.
Thirdly, the Turkish Cypriot leader proposed, “We shall use the income to finance the comprehensive talks,” adding that “the adoption of the plan shall not harm the positions of either side.”

He is playing as if he is generous and ready to negotiate terms… typical Islamic move of demanding conditions for negotiations.

Eroğlu said Ban was pleased with the proposal, in which he repeated Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s earlier call for the two sides to simultaneously renounce the energy explorations. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said Turkey supported the new proposal that was presented to the UN chief.

We all know Ban’s bias already

“If the two parties renounce natural gas exploration, we will accept it,” Erdoğan told Ban late Thursday on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly in New York, asking the UN chief to intervene with the Greek Cypriot government in Nicosia and urge them to stop their offshore explorations.
Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün said Sunday that required coordinates had been set and drilling for oil would soon begin in northern Cyprus. If the Greek Cypriot administration sees Turkish Cypriots as a minority on the island and carries out exploration work unilaterally, Turkish Cypriots can begin exploration in the north of the island, Özgürgün said.
Richard Stone, a leader of Jewish communities in the United States, meanwhile told the daily newspaper Kathimerini on Sunday that Turkey’s actions to prevent the gas and oil drilling efforts of Greek Cyprus and Israel in the East Mediterranean is “a reason for war.” He said.

Meanwhile Ankara Prepares to Penalize Syria to look good for the international community and sadly the United States. Keep in mind that Assad isn’t even a Muslim

(Hurriyet)”If you’re going to act against fundamental rights and liberties, and the law, you will lose your position in my heart as my brother and my friend,” Erdoğan said, referring to al-Assad. “I was very patient. Patience, patience, patience. And then I cracked.”

It is amusing to think anyone would cooperate with Erdogan based on such dishonest intentions.

(Zaman) Opposition Nationalist Movement Party, or MHP, leader Devlet Bahçeli has accused Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of working for the security of other countries while his country has been suffering from terrorist attacks.

Yikes, U.S., Turkey Agree on Delivery Schedule of Predators

(Zaman) “These [Predators] are UAVs with better qualities and features than the Herons,” Yılmaz said, adding that the Turkish-made Anka would also be ready for the TSK around the same time as an alternative to Israeli-made Herons.Turkey was disappointed by Israel’s failure to return six Herons it had sent to the country for maintenance, as it relies heavily on spy aircraft for surveillance missions that gather data on the activities of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, across the country’s borders in the Southeast…. Meanwhile, the domestically made Anka, named after the legendary flying creature of Persian mythology, was brought out of the hangar for the first time in July 2010 and is expected to provide Turkey with a crucial advantage in its fight against the PKK. The Anka is capable of disrupting the electronic ware of enemy aircraft and has made Turkey the third country in the world, after the U.S. and Israel, to engineer UAVs.

This one is hysterically funny! Turkey’s economic lie …Erdogan Says Turkey is a Role Model in Region?

Turkey’s economic lie

Turkey no economic powerhouse, Erdogan’s credit bubble will soon explode

(AA.com) Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey is a role model in its region and has become a country whose friendship and cooperation is asked for in the whole world. Attending a brunch meeting of the Investment Support and Promotion Agency in New York on Saturday, Erdoğan said that a country needed some qualities to draw investment and make commercial relations with another country, listing the qualities as a democratic milieu, stable economy, strong political state, dynamic real sector, big domestic market and export potential. Stressing the importance of stability and confidence, Erdoğan said that Turkey had these qualities. Turkey gives confidence to investors in the world with its economy, public financing and banking sector, Erdoğan said, adding that Turkish economy grew nine percent in 2010, 11.6 percent in the first quarter of 2011, and 8.8 percent in the second quarter of 2011. He said that Turkey became one of the fastest growing two economies together with China in the first half of the year. Noting that Turkey became an attraction center for investors, Erdoğan said that private sector investments, which were only 43 billion Turkish Lira, or TL, in 2002, rose to 164 billion TL in 2010. Erdogan noted that Turkey created 1.5 million new employment opportunities in June 2011 when compared to June 2010. He added that Turkey’s success was not related with conjuncture, noting that it was related with economy management, real sector and the potential of the country. He said that Turkey’s export increased from $36 billion in 2002 to $130 billion in 2010, adding that Turkey had free trade agreements with 20 countries, and opened to Middle East, Africa and South Africa countries to make export. Erdogan said that trade volume between Turkey and the United States was $16 billion in 2010.

Turkey’s economic lieTurkish Deputy Prime Minister Says Turkey Appreciated in IMF Meetings?

(Anadoluajansi) “This is the first time in nine years that I have seen such a high-level political will in the United States, aiming to make business with Turkey,” Babacan said.

Turkish Opposition Says No to ‘Israel Shield’ aka that NATO thing Obama wanted so bad …doesn’t sound like the West likes them or vise versa as much as Erdogan’s propaganda claims.

(Hurriyet) The Turkish government is doing nothing but ensuring Israel’s safety by allowing the establishment of a NATO radar base in Turkey, Republican and People’s Party, or CHP, leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said.

Israel contemplates playing hardball with Turkey

September 9, 2011

For an entire week since the Palmer report mostly exonerating Israel for the Mavi Marmara incident was released, Turkey has been increasing its rhetoric and actions against Israel – and the only official Israeli response has been to express hope that relations between the two countries can improve. That may be about to change.

(YNet) Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has decided to adopt a series of harsh measures in response to Turkey’s latest anti-Israeli moves, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Friday.

Senior Foreign Ministry officials convened Thursday to prepare for a meeting to be held Saturday with Lieberman on the matter. Saturday’s session will be dedicated to discussing Israel’s response to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent threats and his decision to downgrade Ankara’s diplomatic ties with Jerusalem.

Following Thursday’s meeting, officials assessed that Turkey is not interested in an Israeli apology at this time and prefers to exploit the dispute with Jerusalem in order to promote Ankara’s status in the Muslim world. Lieberman therefore decided there was no point in seeking creative formulas for apologizing, instead choosing to focus Israel’s efforts on punishing Turkey.

The Foreign Ministry has now decided to proceed with the formulation of a diplomatic and security “toolbox” to be used against the Turks. The first move would be to issue a travel warning urging all Israeli military veterans to refrain from traveling to Turkey. The advisory will be especially harsh as it will also urge Israelis to refrain from boarding connections in Turkey.

Another planned Israeli move is the facilitation of cooperation with Turkey’s historic rivals, the Armenians. During Lieberman’s visit to the United States this month, the foreign minister is expected to meet with leaders of the Armenian lobby and propose anti-Turkish cooperation in Congress.

The implication of this move could be Israeli assistance in promoting international recognition of the Armenian holocaust, a measure that would gravely harm Turkey. Israel may also back Armenia in its dispute vis-à-vis Turkey over control of Mount Ararat.

Lieberman is also planning to set meetings with the heads of Kurdish rebel group PKK in Europe in order to “cooperate with them and boost them in every possible area.” In these meetings, the Kurds may ask Israel for military aid in the form of training and arms supplies, a move that would constitute a major anti-Turkish position should it materialize.

However, the violent clashes between Turkey and the Kurds only constitute one reason prompting accusations that Ankara is violating human rights. Hence, another means in Lieberman’s “toolbox” vis-à-vis Erdogan is a diplomatic campaign where Israeli missions worldwide will be instructed to join the fight and report illegal Turkish moves against minorities.

The tough response formulated by Lieberman stems, among other things, from the foreign minister’s desire to make it clear to Erdogan that his anti-Israeli moves are not a “one-way street.”

EOZ says:The current Turkish leadership is not the type to back down in face of actions like these, so there is a danger of a macho cycle of escalation that cannot be easily repaired.

EOZ has gone to Ariel Sharon land! Turkey needs to experience a little thorn before they take anyone seriously.

Apologizing to Turkey Would Undermine Israel’s Interests Twice Over

July 23, 2011

Israel to apologize to Turkey?

Evelyn Gordon

22 July ’11

I’d like to add to Michael’s excellent reasons for why Israel shouldn’t apologize to Turkey about last year’s raid on a Turkish-sponsored flotilla to Gaza. As Michael noted, apologizing won’t restore the strategic alliance, because Turkey has made a strategic foreign-policy choice that precludes alliance with Israel. But apologizing wouldn’t merely be ineffective, it would be downright harmful – to both of Israel’s stated goals.
First, Israel wants to improve relations with Turkey. But by proving that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s bullying tactics work – that Ankara can actively undermine every Israeli interest while promoting vicious anti-Israel sentiment at home, and Israel will still come crawling –apologizing will ensure more of the same.
Erdogan openly supports Hamas, which he insists isn’t a terrorist organization; his government actively backed last year’s flotilla, and he now plans a state visit to Gaza. He worked to block UN sanctions on Iran, then undermined them by boosting Turkey’s gasoline exports to Tehran. He reportedly promised arms to Hezbollah. He insisted that NATO’s planned missile-defense system not give Israel information on Iran. He deemed Israel’s 2009 war with Hamas in Gaza worse than the genocide in Darfur.
He also foments anti-Israel sentiment at home. An Israeli theater was forced to cancel an appearance in Turkey after Ankara said it wouldn’t stop radical Islamists from disrupting the performance. Israel cyclists were barred from an international bike race in Turkey because Syria and Iraq said their teams wouldn’t participate if Israel did. A Turkish-Israeli concert for religious tolerance was canceled after IHH, the viciously anti-Israel group behind the flotilla, insisted. As Turkish columnist Burak Bekdil noted, these and many similar incidents aren’t coincidental; they reflect “the systematic injection of Islamist sentiments about Israel into the minds of younger, ordinary Turks, especially in the past two and a half years” of Erdogan’s reign.
By apologizing, Israel would essentially say that none of the above precludes Turkey from being a valued ally. And if so, not only would Erdogan have no incentive to change his behavior, neither would any of his successors.
Yet Israel also has a second goal: sparing its soldiers facing legal action over the nine Turks killed in the raid. Its attorney general is thus reportedly pushing for an apology, bizarrely claiming this would preclude civil or criminal suits.
In reality, however, an Israeli admission of culpability – the only kind of apology Turkey would accept (it repeatedly rejected Israel’s offer to express mere “regret”) – would make legal action more likely. Absent such an admission, Israel has a strong case: A UN report due out later this month reportedly concluded that Israel’s blockade of Gaza was legal, that it had the right to intercept the flotilla and that its soldiers opened fire in self-defense, though it also found they used excessive force. But once Israel admits culpability, it has no case. And even if Ankara promises not to pursue legal action itself, it can’t stop flotilla passengers or their relatives from doing so –which, since most belonged to IHH, they presumably would.
In short, apologizing would undermine Israel’s own interests twice over. It’s high time for Jerusalem to recognize that the clock on Turkey can’t be turned back.
via calevbenyefuneh.blogspot.com

Turkey Aid Iranian Nuclear Program & Hezbollah Ready to Strike Tel-Aviv with Hundreds of Rockets

April 9, 2011

Israel believes Turkey is actively helping Iran to sidestep economic sanctions and has also turned a blind eye to Iranian weapons smuggling into Syria, according to leaked US diplomatic cables published on Friday.
Citing documents obtained by WikiLeaks, Haaretz said senior Israeli officials had told the United States that Turkey was moving ever-closer to Iran because it needed Iranian energy supplies and because it was revising its global strategy.

Hezbollah would be able to strike Tel Aviv directly from an arsenal of more than 20,000 missiles a recent WikiLeaks cable revealed to the Israeli press by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

During Joint Political Military Group meeting in November 2009, Israeli intelligence officials told their US counterparts that “Hezbollah was preparing for a long conflict with Israel in which it hopes to launch a massive number of rockets at Israel per day,” with plans to send “400-600 rockets and missiles…per day, 100 of which will be aimed at Tel Aviv.”
Tel Aviv’s mayor Ron Holdai responded to the claim that Hezbollah could slam the city with sustained rocket fire during the Tel Aviv Marathon, saying “we live in Israel, and we have threats made to us all the time. If something were to happen we could cope,” Israel Radio reported.

First the Leaks, Then the Dark Theories : Wikileaks an anti-Turkish plot engineered by Israel

December 3, 2010
ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI isn’t the only person who is spinning the facts. We also have a few wackadoos on friendfeed

In Turkey and beyond, the release of U.S. diplomatic cables on website WikiLeaks has sparked a round of conspiracy theories.

Turkish leaders appear convinced that state actors, in particular the U.S. itself or Israel—rather than Julian Assange of WikiLeaks—are behind the release of U.S. State Department cables, whose contents have embarrassed leaders around the globe.

The skepticism about WikiLeaks’ independence is widespread and appears to be rooted in sheer disbelief that the world’s most powerful nation can’t stop its secrets from spilling onto the Internet. That sentiment pairs with a willingness to believe the worst of Israel. Neither is limited to Turkey.

“Undoubtedly, the Western governments and the Zionist regime were involved,” said Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad earlier this week.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin offered up on CNN’s Larry King Live that “experts” believe WikiLeaks is being deliberately “inflated” by others, to be used for political purposes at a later date.

“Assange clearly has very well-informed high-level protectors who aren’t for the first time ‘leaking’ strictly secret documents to him by the ton. There is no doubt that these protectors have their own, far from altruistic, goals,” wrote the official Rossiskaya Gazeta on Thursday, surmising that U.S. officials were trying to revive a “rusted-through American bureaucratic machine.”

“It could be Barack Obama himself,” the newspaper said.

“No one in the United States government with a brain in their head wanted to see this happen,” said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley. “This is a crime, not grand strategy. We will work through it, but it has done substantial damage.”

Turkish conspiracy theorists have long speculated that Israel is seeking to get rid of an Islamic-leaning Turkish government that has turned sharply against its former ally. The alleged Israeli goal, these people say, is to replace the Justice and Development party’s rule with a more friendly Turkish regime.

The WikiLeaks documents include reports of widespread corruption among government ministers, including Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his family, which opposition leaders have sought to highlight, triggering a furious response from the prime minister.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul started the ball rolling earlier this week, when he said of the cable leakage: “I think it has a system. It seems that it has an aim.”

Huseyin Celik, spokesman for the Justice and Development party, or AKP, said Wednesday that Israel was behind the document release. The evidence, he told reporters, was that “Israel is very pleased” and was so quick to say it had nothing to fear.

“How did they know that?” Mr. Celik asked, adding that “the main goal of these leaks was to weaken the Turkish government.”

The Israeli Embassy in Ankara issued a statement Thursday denying any role in the WikiLeaks release of some 250,000 documents.

Some Turkish newspaper columnists see more complex forces at work. It’s a plot by a global “deep state,” a kind of rogue organization within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization that aims to weaken President Barack Obama, reshape the geopolitical playing field in Europe and the Middle East and whip Turkey into line, according to a Thursday column by Samill Tayyar of the religious conservative Star newspaper.

Comments from newspaper readers suggest the conspiracy theories are widely believed. “This has been prepared by the U.S. and Israel, it is one way to start the World War III from the Middle East by setting the Muslim countries against each other,” said one reader of Hurriyet, the daily paper of Turkey’s secularist establishment.

Not everyone is buying it, though. “Turkish AKP Party Members reveal: ‘Israel is responsible for the extinction of the Dinosaurs,'” commented one reader on Mr. Celik’s claims, on Hurriyet’s English-language newspaper site.

On Thursday, after returning from meeting other leaders and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Kazakhstan, Mr. Gul appeared to have changed his tune.

“I don’t believe much in these conspiracy theories,” he said on Turkey’s NTV television. “All of the documents have not been released yet, as far as I know, so maybe some will come out [about Israel] later.”

The Turks have become as predictable and paranoid as the Arabs (Hat Tip: Martin Kramer and Memeorandum).

Israel could have engineered the release of hundreds of thousands of confidential documents on WikiLeaks as a plot to corner Turkey on both domestic and foreign policy, according to a senior ruling party official.
“One has to look at which countries are pleased with these. Israel is very pleased. Israel has been making statements for days, even before the release of these documents,” Hüseyin Çelik, deputy leader of the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, and the party’s spokesperson, told reporters at a press conference Wednesday.
Following initial reaction to the leaked U.S. Embassy cables, which have revealed diplomatic secrets about Turkey, Azerbaijan, its Middle Eastern neighbors, Turkish officials have started to suspect that “the main cause of these leaks was to weaken the Turkish government.”

The first signal came from President Abdullah Gül, who said Tuesday the leaks seemed to be a result of a systematic work with some purpose behind it.
Though government officials like Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Çiçek avoided naming Israel in their public statements Wednesday, Çelik, a close aide to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, singled out the country with his comments Wednesday.
“Documents were released and they immediately said, ‘Israel will not suffer from this.’ How did they know that?” Çelik said.

Are they selling the Protocols of the Elders of Zion on the streets of Ankara yet? I’m sure it’s a best seller in the Turkish government.

the conspiracies are becoming more elaborate by the day. by the end of the week they will be slick enough for a printable brochure or PDF and by next month you can expect a coffee table book

To Obama Turkey is Israel’s savior from a nuclear Iran? He just handed military data to Anakara

October 29, 2010

Ankara seeks guarantees on Israel in missile shield talks with US - Turkey, in talks with the United States over a proposed missile defense system, has asked US officials whether non-NATO countries would have access to intelligence that sensors in the shield would gather, sources close to the negotiations have told Today's Zaman. US authorities, in return, have assuaged Turkish concerns, saying the intelligence will be out of reach for any non-NATO countries, including Israel.As a good will gesture, the US publicly humiliated Poland and the Czech Republic by breaking prior agreement with them to placate Russia, a move unlikely to go unnoticed by East Asian countries courted by Hillary Clinton. Instead, the Obama administration chose to place the fate of NATO’s planned missile-defense system in the notoriously untrustworthy hands of ever more Islamist Turkey. In return, Turkey demands that it have access to all date gathered by the missile defense system and that Israel will have none. Let us not forget that the system is designed in part to assure Israel that, if push comes to shove, it can live with a nuclear Iran.

How Stephens can claim that Iran has been successfully isolated is really beyond me given the fact that Turkey responded to Barack Obama’s repeated overtures by drawing ever closer to Iran and Putin has activated the long delayed the Bushir nuclear facility. Even Hamid Karzai is bragging about receiving bags of Iranian money. Ahmadinejad has never been less isolated in his life. Indeed, he feels so secure that he decided to throw a bone to Obama in the form of a letter calling for renewed nuclear negotiations with Europe a few days before the Congressional elections. Obama is not capable of playing checkers with Ahmadinejad, not to mention Chess.

via hnn.us

…but Ankara doesn’t want Iran Named as Enemy in NATO missile system.  Points finger at Israel

— Ankara seeks guarantees on Israel in missile shield talks with US
   Turkey, in talks with the United States over a proposed missile defense system, has asked US officials whether non-NATO countries would have access to intelligence that sensors in the shield would gather, sources close to the negotiations have told Today’s Zaman. US authorities, in return, have assuaged Turkish concerns, saying the intelligence will be out of reach for any non-NATO countries, including Israel. 
Long-time NATO member Turkey has been holding discussions with the US over the proposed missile defense system. Although Turkey has not publicly rejected US requests to take part in the system, it is concerned that a possible deployment of anti-missile elements in its territory could harm its relations with Iran, which has drastically improved its economic and security ties with Turkey in recent years.
US officials have said on more than one occasion that the missile defense system is meant to address a growing missile threat from Iran, a statement that rattles Turkey, which insists Iran should not be mentioned as a threat in the proposed Europe-wide anti-missile system. The clock is ticking for a final deal as NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen presses for a NATO decision on the matter during the alliance’s upcoming Lisbon summit on Nov. 19-20.
Turkey says it is not against establishment of a missile defense system for NATO’s European allies but insists in talks with the US that the project should be built for defensive, not offensive, purposes. Any clear reference to Iran or any other neighboring country as a threat in the proposed missile defense system runs counter to Ankara’s chief foreign policy objective: “zero problems” with neighbors. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu is convinced that there is no need to mention any country as a source of threat as threats keep changing fast in today’s highly unpredictable world. Thus, dealing with the threat as it emerges is the practical choice. Sources said the Turkish argument looks reasonable to US authorities. Naming countries a source of threat is difficult in a practical sense, too, because NATO operates by principle of unanimity and it is not possible to classify a non-ally as threat if one of the allies is opposed. But the level of understanding permeating the ongoing negotiations is not enough to say what the final agreement will look like when the Lisbon summit convenes. Sources say even though there might be no formal reference to Iran in any written document, US officials may do so verbally in press statements during the summit.

Instant access to intelligence

Missile defense system plans were discussed during a NATO meeting of defense and foreign ministers in Brussels on Oct. 14.

Turkey also requests participation in decision-making and instant access to intelligence on any missile threat to be collected by sensors that will be deployed as part of the missile shield. The US has principally given the green light to the Turkish request for instant access to information but work is still under way to decide how the mechanism would work.
Another issue that came up in the negotiations was whether there would be any ships operating as part of the missile shield in the Black Sea. The proposed anti-missile system is planned to be mostly ship-based in earlier stages, with elements being deployed on land later. Ankara says terms of the 1936 Montreaux Convention, which severely restricts the passage of non-Turkish military vessels through the Straits, should be respected, thus no ship carrying missile defense system elements can pass through the Straits to reach Black Sea.
The US authorities have given assurances that there is no such plan since terms of the 1936 deal are clear. The missile defense system plans again put Turkey in a foreign policy dilemma over its ties with Iran. Western experts say Turkish refusal to join the proposed system would deepen concerns over an “axis shift” in the Turkish foreign policy, while participation in a system openly targeting Iran would disrupt Turkey’s zero-problem with neighbors policy and undermine its regional role. Many in Turkey believe that protecting Israel from a possible missile attack by Iranians is the secret purpose of the US-pioneered missile defense system. But Israel is not a NATO member and thus cannot receive protection from a NATO system. Israel also does not need protection from NATO as it already has its own national missile defense system that could counter threats from Iran or other possible enemies.
In fact, given the unpredictability of the security situation across the globe, it is possible that the missile defense system could even be used against Israel some day in the future. NATO is an organization that operates on the principle of collective defense and an attack on an ally is considered an attack on the entire alliance.
Relations between former allies Israel and Turkey took a nosedive following an Israeli offensive in Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009, which resulted in death of about 1,400 Palestinians. The tensions peaked when Israeli commandos killed eight Turks and one Turkish-American on an aid ship trying to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza on May 31 and relations have been at a standstill since then.
The proposed missile defense system, is much cheaper but also less capable than a dedicated anti-missile system proposed by the Bush administration, which caused a deep rift with Russia. Russia opposed the stationing of powerful radars and anti-missile batteries near its western borders. But it has not opposed the new system, although Russian officials have said it remains to be seen whether the two networks can be integrated.

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