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Turkey Goes to the Mattresses Over Apology

While Israel sits in the catbird seat

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Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan last fall.(Yonhap News via Getty Images)

Despite Secretary of State Clinton’s personal entreaty, and in advance of next week’s long-postponed release of a U.N. report, Prime Minister Netanyahu will not issue an apology to Turkey over last year’s flotilla incident, which resulted in nine deaths. In response, Turkey pledged yesterday to opt for “Plan B,” a diplomatic offensive that will involve pressing the issue through international institutions as well as perhaps by a visit by Prime Minister Erdogan to Gaza. It would have been nice if there were some word that meant “I’m sorry” in Turkish and merely “My bad” in Hebrew, as negotiators had sought, but apparently there’s not.

I sense a bluff. Recall that the U.N. report is apparently shockingly friendly to Israel: assigning it some blame but also assigning Turkey plenty; praising Israel’s internal investigation while faulting Turkey’s for being biased; and demanding neither an apology nor compensation from Israel. Recall further that Israel had arranged for the report’s release to be postponed precisely so that it and Turkey could reach a formal rapprochement before its publication. Recall that Turkey could use Israel’s cooperation in dealing with its extremely restive neighbor Syria, which poses far more of a threat to its own stability than to Israel’s. And note finally the reports, un-denied by Turkey, that Turkish negotiators had issued an increasing cascade of demands: an apology; and compensation; and then the shelving of the report (which should probably have been the final quo, though one wonders if even that would be worth it to Israel); and then, finally, the lifting of the Gaza blockade, which in addition to being something that isn’t particularly Turkey’s business is something that the U.N. probe explicitly finds to be legal, according to advance reports. So “I’m sorry” doesn’t translate into Hebrew. Does “chutzpah” translate into Turkish?

The country that really wants this deal is the United States. But instead, Turkey and Israel will likely continue to have a prickly relationship, even as Turkey could use all the regional friends it can get given that it is sounding warnings that Syria is turning into Libya-in-the-Levant. This outcome is worse for Turkey.

Israel Says It Won’t Apologize to Turkey for Deadly Flotilla Raid [NYT]
Turkey Plans Diplomatic Assault on Israel After Its Refusal to Apologize for Gaza Flotilla Raid [Haaretz]
Turkey: Syria Situation May Become Libya-Style Civil War [JPost]
Earlier: Should Israel Apologize to Turkey?
Israel Enjoys Victory with U.N. Flotilla Probe
‘I’m Semi-Sorry’
Have Israel and Turkey Reached Détente?

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George One says:

Sadly, one has to stop trying to mend Istael/Turkey relations. They are UNmendable as long as AKP is in power in Turkey. If this problem is cleared up, AKP and Erdogan would create a new one just as they created the current “flotilla” one. It is tied to their basically pro-Hamas, anti-Jewish ideology. Just see how they are treating the secular sectors of society in Turkey.

“Despite Sec. of State Clinton’s personal entreaty”? Excuse me Tablet, but for a country that is 63 yeaars old, isn’t it time form Israel to behave as an
independant nation yet? Where is Israeli policy set? In Jerusalem or Washington?
Which other countries does Madam Clinton dictate to? Or is only the little Jews who need to follow orders? The whole situation is absurd. That is why Israel is in the trouble that it is-because after 63 years it behaves as lillt more than an American sattelite.
As far as Turkey is concerned, it is rapidly becoming an Islamic nation. No Islamic nation will ever turn its back on the umma in favor of Israel. Don’t worry about
Turkey needing Israel’s help. Turkey’s existence is not threatened.
Finally stop dreaming that a democratic Syria is psosible or desirable from an Israeli or Jewish point of view. They will continue to be a threat to Israel’s
existence.

jacob arnon says:

Will Turkey apologize to the Kurds?

rebscott says:

When I looked up ‘entreaty’, the definition was: 1. earnest request or petition; supplication. I don’t understand how Garry gets from entreaty to dictate. Sec. Clinton was engaging in diplomacy, asking an ally to change their policy. As for Israel acting like an independent nation, PM Netanyahu has listened to and then mostly ignored most of the entreaties from Pres. Obama and Sec. Clinton. That seems like the actions of an independent country to me.

I fail to see how the past 2+ years demonstrates that Israel is behaving like an American satellite. Garry may be right about Turkey and Syria, but it seems to me that Mr. Netanyahu has been a fiercely independent head of state who is clearly taking his own path – whether I, Pres. Obama or Sec. Clinton agree with his judgements and actions, or not.

Floyd says:

How about this: Israel apologizes when Turkey admits to the Armenian genocide. See the movie Lark Farm for a refresher.

Hershl says:

And who, one must ask, is Marc Tracy, that he is at all competent to offer his opinion on anything?

Beatrix says:

Marc Tracy is a nice looking, bright young man who was on “Jeopardy” and who did very well on the show. He offers an intelligent, well-read young person’s opinion of the world.

Personally, I hope Israel and Turkey mend their relationship, but Turkey’s adding one requirement after another to the agreement doesn’t bode well for that.

It’s odd that Turkey requires an apology from Israel when she’s steadfastly refused to apologize to Armenia for her ancestor’s acts of genocide.

asshole says:

fuck you all!

Selfulfillingcycleofprophecy says:

Israel continue’s it’s ‘Jews acting badly’ policy because “everyone hates us; just look at the famous massacre of Jews in 1013AD by the Muk-lak empire”.

Meanwhile, the surrounding countries in the middle east hate Israel because of it’s paranoid policy, and the fact they can’t even find a fingernail (which would be worth many Palestinians) from the Jews of 1013AD.

Leonard says:

Talk is cheap, and an apology is also. Turkey and Israel have commerce together, and both countries appreciate this. It is just the posturing that is the problem. One country after the other is losing it’s leadership, and Israel should help pik up the piecies. Israel could help both Syria and Lebanon with agriculture and logistics to move staples to port. If a country makes money, the people are happy. If that is what is offered, they should take it. If Turkey was overun by Islamists, as it presently is, they are still practical in the worlwide sense.

Moran Lowiq B. Eeghuzzar says:

Hey, wot about the chia pets? Has anybody thought about dem, man?

Moran Lowiq B. Eeghuzzar, aka King Vacuous I says:

everybody knows Turkey was leader in chia pets but dem smarty pants jews overtook them…Jealous Turkeys! Smarty Jews! Flotilla smuggling Chias, Chias absorb water, Jews shoot Chias to save Turkey Lurkeys!

yassir says:

i need to go take a jew …will be right back .

Marilyn G. Stanley says:

if the Israelis were willing to swallow, as I do, would that be enough for those darn, smelly Turks?

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Turkey Goes to the Mattresses Over Apology

While Israel sits in the catbird seat

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