Turkish Economy Fails As Predicted Here on this blog

December 27, 2013

We saw Greece fail, now watch what happens when the people are Muslims

The Erdogan government is facing a massive corruption crisis, and the Turkish lira is getting crushed. Turkey has a large external debt position and an ugly trade deficit, so its economy and financial markets are highly sensitive to the whims of the global investor community. And the global investor community doesn’t like what it’s seeing. 

It is bad business to be Islamist.


U.S. Cancels Drone Sales to Turkey Over Intel Disclosure to Iran

October 23, 2013
The United States has reportedly cancelled the delivery of 10 unmanned Predator drones to Turkey following Ankara’s disclosure of several Israeli intelligence officials operating in Iran, according to Turkish press reports.

In February 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported that Turkey’s state-owned bank, Halkbank, was processing “payments from third parties for Iranian goods.” This included “payments for Indian refiners unable to pay Tehran for imported oil through their own banking system for fear of retribution from Washington.” Separately, the Journal also reported that the Turkish bank was responsible for many of Turkey’s “gas-for-gold” transactions with Iran despite an executive order issued by the Obama administration prohibiting gold payments to the government of Iran. As Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan frankly admitted, Turkey’s “gold exports [to Iran] end up like payments for our natural gas purchases.”

The cancellation of these drones would be another setback for U.S.-Turkey relations, which have cooled in recent months as Ankara grows closer to Hamas and the Iranian regime.

Relations between Turkey and the West hit another speed bump last week when it came to light that Ankara had exposed the identities of up to 10 Iranians working on behalf of the Israelis in 2012.
“This news is particularly concerning in light of Turkey’s ongoing gold exports to Iran and support for the terrorist organization Hamas,” said Roskam, who asked Secretary of State John Kerry in April to sanction a Turkish bank that has reportedly traded gold to Iran in exchange for oil.

Turkey announced late last month that it had awarded a $3.4 billion defense contract to a Chinese firm that has been sanctioned by the United States. The China Precision Machinery Export-Import Corp. (CPMIEC) was selected by Turkish officials to construct an advanced “long-range air and missile defense system,” according to Turkey’s Hurriyet Daily News. Turkey selected CPMIEC over competing bids from U.S. defense firms Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, as well as offers from several Russian and French firms, according to the report. CPMIEC has been sanctioned by the United States for allegedly selling advanced weapons to Iran and Pakistan. It also is believed to have sold chemical weapons to Syria. Terrorism experts said that Turkey is close to qualifying as an official state sponsor of terror.
Washington, which is providing technical and intelligence to Ankara in its fight against autonomy-seeking Kurdish rebels, deployed our Predator drones from Iraq to Turkey.


Turkish riots aren’t just about a park

June 24, 2013
(h/t Carl) Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has plans to erase secularism from Turkey’s history. The government’s plan to destroy Gezi Park, a section of Taksim Square, and build a replica Ottoman Army barracks and mall set off weeks of violent street protests, presenting Mr. Erdogan with the greatest political crisis he has faced in more than a decade in power. But the plan to build a large mosque in the square is, in the eyes of many analysts here, the real nub of the dispute.
The building of such a mosque is a decades-old hope of Turkey’s Islamists, and even played a role in the last military intervention in Turkish politics in 1997, when army generals maneuvered to overthrow an Islamist prime minister.
Now that the people — rather than the army — have risen up against the current Islamist government’s urban development plans, analysts have suggested that one of the consequences of the unrest is that Mr. Erdogan will ultimately be unable to realize his vision for Taksim.
If so, it will represent the second time he has tried and failed to build the mosque, and at serious political costs. As the mayor of Istanbul in 1997, he saw the same dreams dashed by the military’s intervention.
Not that he has given up. As the protests engulfed his government, Mr. Erdogan backed off from the plans for a shopping mall in Taksim, but he continued to promote the mosque.
“A mosque will be built in Taksim,” he said, in a recent speech. “I do not need permission from the main opposition and a few looters. We have been granted authority by those who voted for us at the ballot box.”
In the 1990s, under Turkey’s first Islamist prime minister, Necmettin Erbakan, Mr. Erdogan oversaw a local commission in charge of the mosque project, but the idea was anathema to Turkey’s secular elite, who could still count on the military to safeguard the country’s secular underpinnings.
A local news article published in January 1997 reported that secular Turks objected to the mosque because it would “symbolize the power of the Islamists over Taksim as well as the whole country.” Those words could easily be spoken by today’s protesters.
Ayse Hur, a historian and columnist for the newspaper Radikal, said, “The circles that oppose the project of a mosque at Taksim or the barracks may be interpreting this as an attempt to rewrite the official secular history.”CMORE)

Obviously the State Dept has learned nothing from #Benghazi. Enabling #Jihad in the name of activism

May 20, 2013
Israel Matzav: Kerry poses for photo-op with father of Mavi Marmara terrorist

#Kerry’s claim of #Turkish ‘sensitivity’ astonishes #Israelis

April 8, 2013

Israeli official tells ‘Post’ Secretary of state apparently did not read Turkey’s press reaction reports following PM Netanyahu’s apology over the 2010 flotilla incident; says reports included gloating.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, April 7, 2013.

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Turkish PM Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul, April 7, 2013. Photo: Reuters

Israeli officials expressed astonishment on Sunday that US Secretary of State John Kerry praised Turkey for responding “sensitively” and without triumphalism to Israel’s apology for the Mavi Marmara incident.
“They have taken steps to try to prevent any sense of triumphalism,” Kerry said at a press conference on Sunday with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. “It has not come from the government. In fact, there has been limited response by the government itself and I think it’s important for everybody to take note of that.”
“What country is he talking about?” one Israeli official responded. “I’m afraid the State Department did not show the secretary of state the press reports from Turkey following the apology.”

The official said those reports were full of interviews and statements by both Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Davutoglu and other government ministers gloating over the apology, which was for operational errors committed that may have led to a loss of life on the Mavi Marmara in May 2010. Nine Turks were killed when Israel Navy commandos, trying to keep the ship from breaking the blockade of the Gaza Strip, were attacked by those on board.
The Israeli perception that Erdogan was indeed rubbing Jerusalem’s nose in the apology led Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett, a member of the seven-person security cabinet, to write on his Facebook page five days after the apology that “it seems that since the apology, Erdogan is doing everything to make Israel regret it. He is running a personal and vitriolic campaign at the expense of Israeli- Turkish relations.”
Soon after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s apology to Erdogan in a phone call brokered by US President Barack Obama during his visit here, Erdogan, according to the Anadolu news agency, told supporters Israel may have mistakenly thought the Mavi Marmara incident would be forgotten.
The Israeli perception that Erdogan was indeed rubbing Jerusalem’s nose in the apology led Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett, a member of the seven-person security cabinet, to write on his Facebook page five days after the apology that “it seems that since the apology, Erdogan is doing everything to make Israel regret it. He is running a personal and vitriolic campaign at the expense of Israeli- Turkish relations.”
Soon after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s apology to Erdogan in a phone call brokered by US President Barack Obama during his visit here, Erdogan, according to the Anadolu news agency, told supporters Israel may have mistakenly thought the Mavi Marmara incident would be forgotten.
But this time, he was quoted as saying, “the Israelis met with a different understanding and structure. The AK Party government did not remain silent against this illegality, aggressiveness and massacre.”
He went on to add, “The Israeli apology was important in remembering the martyrs of Turkey and those of Palestine.”
Billboards sponsored by the Ankara Municipality appeared within a day of the apology, reading, “Israel apologized to Turkey. Dear prime minister, we are grateful that you let our country experience this pride.”
The words were superimposed over pictures of a confident Erdogan and a tired, gloomy looking Netanyahu.
Fresh in the blush of the apology, Erdogan also announced immediately afterward that he was going to visit Gaza and the West Bank with Turkish relief organizations. He was also quoted by the Hurriyet Daily News as telling parliament that the apology changed the overall equation in the Middle East.
“The point we have arrived at as a result of our consultations with all our brothers in Palestine and peripheral countries is increasing our responsibility with regard to solving the Palestinian question and thus is bringing about a new equation,” he was quoted as saying.
Davutoglu hosted a dinner at his residence for the family members of those killed in the incident, as well as some officials of the radical Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) that was behind the flotilla.
One of IHH’s leaders was investigated by the Turkish government in 2012 for funding al-Qaida, and that same year the NGO was banned by Germany for its connections to Hamas.
“Please make yourselves at home,” said Davutoglu. “This is your home as well. Their blood will not remain on the floor. Nothing is no longer the same,” stated the foreign minister, according to the website of the Turkish paper Sabah.
If all that, and more that appeared in the Turkish press, “was not triumphalism, then I don’t know what is,” one Israeli official said.
Kerry, meanwhile, urged Turkey and Israel to restore full relations, calling this vital to regional stability, but said it was not up to Washington to dictate the conditions of rapprochement.
Kerry said it was imperative for Israel to honor its commitment to pay compensation to the families of those killed on the Mavi Marmara, and for both countries to return their ambassadors.
“With respect to the Israel- Turkey track, it is not for the United States to be setting conditions or terms,” Kerry told reporters alongside Davutoglu.
“We would like to see this relationship that is important to stability in the Middle East, critical to the peace process itself – we would like to see this relationship get back on track in its full measure,” he said.
To do so, said Kerry, “it is imperative that the compensation component of the agreement be fulfilled, that the ambassadors be returned and that full relationship be embraced, but it’s not up to us to discuss the timing.”
One thing that Kerry did not mention was Ankara’s boast afterward that Israel had agreed to lift the blockade of Gaza.
Israel made no such pledge.
An Israeli delegation is expected to arrive in Turkey this week to begin discussing the details of the compensation agreement. Neither country has said, however, when their ambassadors would go back, though the Turkish press speculated this could occur as early as the end of June.

Reuters contributed to this report.


Why the apology?

March 26, 2013

Ottomans and Zionists explains why Israel apologized to Turkey.

Because it is – in my view – Turkey that changed its mind on reconciling, I focused on the Turkish side of things in the FA piece, so I thought I’d now write a little bit about the Israeli side. From Israel’s perspective, making up with Turkey has made sense for awhile now, and the reasons to do so only grew stronger with each passing day. First, there is the regional dynamic in the Middle East, which is hardly trending in Israel’s favor post-Arab Spring. While I do not think that Israel has anything to fear from new governments in the region, the upheaval has opened up power vacuums in the Sinai and Syria that allow hostile non-state actors to operate with impunity. Add to this the existing threats from Hamas and Hizballah and the distinct possibility that the Jordanian government falls, and Israel desperately needs any friend who will have her. Making up with Turkey means that at least Israel is not entirely alone in the region, and being able to coordinate with Turkey and with Jordan (so long as King Abdullah remains in power) will be extremely helpful in containing the spillover threat from Syria. While I highlighted the urgency for Turkey in my FA piece, Israel’s biggest concern with regard to the Syrian civil war has always been the transfer of chemical weapons to hostile non-state actors, and now that the chatter around chemical weapons has increased, apologizing to Turkey took on an urgency for Jerusalem that was absent before.

Second, Turkey has successfully blocked Israel from NATO military activities and summits, and the ability to get back in the game has always been important to the Israeli government. While the Noble Dina naval exercises with Greece and the U.S. that Israel began doing in 2011 are nice, they are a poor substitute for Israel being able to use the vast Turkish airspace for aerial training or being able to participate in NATO military exercises. Israel has attempted to ramp up its military relations with Greece and Cyprus in response to the freeze in relations with Turkey but this has always been a suboptimal solution, and Israel has felt this acutely as the government has become increasingly preoccupied with possible threats from Iran. Furthermore, Israel’s defense industry has had billions of dollars in contracts with Turkey suspended by Ankara, and being able to resume sales to Turkey should provide a nice jolt to the Israeli economy.

Nobody should expect Israel and Turkey to go back to where they once were. Turkey does not feel as alone in the region as it once did, there is still a benefit from having cool relations with Israel, and too much has taken place between the two, from Davos to the Mavi Marmara to the “Zionism is equal to fascism” kerfuffle of a month ago. It is unfortunately not surprising to already see Erdoğan backing away from his commitment to normalize relations, although it will happen sooner rather than later since this is only Erdoğan playing politics in response to some hardline domestic criticism over the deal with Israel. Exchanging ambassadors and resuming limited military and intelligence cooperation does not negate the fact that bashing Israel will remain a potent element in Erdoğan’s box of tricks, and I expect to see issues big and small arise between the two countries, particularly as things remain static on the Israeli-Palestinian front and settlement building in the West Bank continues. Nevertheless, this restoring of formal ties is good for both sides, and I hope that both countries can get over their past issues and begin work on developing a healthier relationship.

Caroline Glick disagrees

Given the situation, the main questions that arise from Israel’s apology to Turkey are as follows: Is it truly a declaration with little intrinsic meaning, as Peres intimated? Should it simply be viewed as a means of overcoming a technical block to renewing Israel’s strategic alliance with Turkey? In other words, will the apology facilitate Turkish cooperation in stemming the rise of jihadist forces in Syria, and blocking the transfer of chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missiles to such actors? Finally, what does Obama’s central role in producing Israel’s apology say about his relationship with the Jewish state and the consequences of his visit on Israel’s alliance with the US and its position in the region? And finally, what steps should Israel consider in light of these consequences?

On Saturday, the Arab League convened in Doha, Qatar and discussed Israel’s apology to Turkey and its ramifications for pan-Arab policy. The Arab League member states considered the prospect of demanding similar apologies for its military operations in Lebanon, Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

The Arab League’s discussions point to the true ramifications of the apology for Israel. By apologizing for responding lawfully to unlawful aggression against the State of Israel and its armed forces, Israel did two things. First, Israel humiliated itself and its soldiers, and so projected an image of profound weakness. Due to this projected image, Israel has opened itself up to further demands for it to apologize for its other responses to acts of unlawful war and aggression against the state, its territory and its citizens from other aggressors. The Arab League like most of its member nations is in an official state of war with Israel. The Arabs wish to see Israel destroyed. Kicking a nation when it is down is a perfectly rational way for states that wish other states ill to behave. And so the Arab League’s action was eminently predictable.

As for the future of Israel-Turkish cooperation on Syria, two things must be borne in mind. First, on Saturday Erdogan claimed that Netanyahu’s apology was insufficient to restore Turkish-Israel relations. He claimed that before he could take any concrete actions to restore relations, Israel would first have to compensate the families of the passengers from the Mavi Marmara killed while assaulting IDF soldiers with deadly force.

Beyond that, it is far from clear that Turkey shares Israel’s interests in preventing the rise of a jihadist regime in Syria allied with al-Qaeda. More than any other actor, Erdogan has played a central role in enabling the early jihadist penetration and domination of the ranks of the US-supported Syrian opposition forces. It is far from clear that the man who enabled these jihadists to rise to power shares Israel’s interest in preventing them from seizing Syria’s weapons of mass destruction. Moreover, if Turkey does share Israel’s interest in preventing the Syrian opposition from taking control over the said arsenals, it would cooperate with Israel in accomplishing this goal with or without an Israeli apology for its takeover of the Mavi Marmara.

I think the apology was a mistake. Netanyahu, who is notoriously pliable, came under pressure from Obama and could not resist. 
I don’t believe Israel will reap any benefits from the apology. If we’re really lucky, maybe it won’t come back to haunt us.

I’d like to squash Obama like a bug. He’s a smug bully. His day will come soon.


Dutch FM slams #Erdogan over anti-Zionist comment.

March 19, 2013


Dutch FM slams Erdogan over anti-Zionist comment.(TOI).The Dutch foreign minister lambasted Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s derogatory comments about Zionism, less than a week before Erdogan’s scheduled arrival in Amsterdam for an official state visit.
“The statement is unacceptable and I fully understand that the reaction in Israel has been one of dismay,” Frans Timmermans said Friday in a formal answer to written questions by Dutch members of parliament.
Last month, Erdogan sparked international condemnation when he described Zionism as a “crime against humanity” on a par with anti-Semitism and fascism. The United States, the European Union, and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon took Erdogan to task for his comments, as did numerous Jewish and international human rights groups.
These kind of statements are damaging to a constructive climate for peace in the region and are hindering normalization of relations between Turkey and Israel,” Timmermans said. ”The Netherlands remains a proponent of better relations between Turkey and Israel and will continue to strive for this.
Timmermans, who became the Netherlands’ foreign minister less than half a year ago, said that his government’s position “has been made clear to Turkey” on both “a political and civil servants’ level.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also censured his Turkish counterpart for “a dark and mendacious statement, the likes of which we thought had passed from the world.”
Erdogan is expected to visit the Netherlands on Thursday.Read the full story here.