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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-16-11 08:51 AM
Original message
Erdogan, the strongest leader in the Mideast
The thousands of refugees who fled Syria in the past week are providing Erdogan with an opportunity to determine the fate of Syria.
By Anshel Pfeffer


ISTANBUL - Although the party of Recep Tayyip Erdogan was unable to win enough seats in parliament to change Turkey's constitution without taking into account the opinion of the opposition, Erdogan is still the happiest leader in the Muslim world. After this week's elections, he is the sole leader in the area who knows, with near certainty, that he will be in power for another four years.

The political earthquake in Arab countries has yielded additional unexpected benefits for the Turkish prime minister. In the short term, the thousands of refugees who fled Syria in the past week created a logistic and humanitarian headache for Ankara, and may even be increasing fears of renewed tension with the Kurds. However, they are providing Erdogan with an opportunity to determine the fate of Syria.

The regime in Damascus, in the first three months of the revolution being fought against it, contained events within the country's borders. It cut off Western media and expelled their correspondents, greatly undermining the ability of the few opposition groups - inside Syria and in exile - to close ranks against the government and to begin to offer an alternative to the Assad dynasty.

Ostensibly, Erdogan is cooperating with his friend in Damascus by shutting the refugees into camps along the border and preventing them from having contact with journalists, who are hungry for firsthand testimony about the bloodbath in Syria's rebellious towns.

http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/erdogan-the-strongest-leader-in-the-mideast-1.367992
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-16-11 09:11 AM
Response to Original message
1. What a nice guy helping Assad prevent Syrians from telling the press what's happening in Syria.
Edited on Thu Jun-16-11 09:12 AM by shira
Gee, I wonder why Israel's relations with Turkey are getting worse by the day...

:sarcasm:
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-16-11 10:09 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Gee, I guess you'll never figure it out.
snip* Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon's demonstration of diplomatic pride in humiliating the Turkish ambassador now looks childish and foolish. The prolonged estrangement since Operation Cast Lead, which worsened with what happened on the Mavi Mamara and that flotilla to Gaza, is now hurting Israel far more than Turkey.

Israel still has diplomatic, economic and cultural ties with Turkey, and as for the ties between the Israel Defense Forces and the Turkish army, that's a stronger alliance than the political climate. Instead of watching these assets gradually erode, Israel would do well to act with determination to improve relations with the strongest leader in the region.



* I guess Turkey has tied Israel's hands too from making peace with the Palestinains..in your world anyway.
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-16-11 11:33 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Oh yes, in your world Israel's behavior towards Turkey has pushed them into the arms of Syria/Iran.
Edited on Thu Jun-16-11 11:36 AM by shira
:eyes:

If you think Turkey really cared about OCL and didn't just use it as an excuse for their behavior towards Israel ever since, I have a bridge to sell you...

They care about the Palestinian cause, not the Palestinians - just as they care about the Syrian cause and not Syrian refugees they're trying to silence WRT the press.
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-16-11 11:48 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. There is nothing I have
said nor posted that would warrant this from you: Oh yes, in your world Israel's behavior toward Turkey has pushed them into the arms of Syria/Iran.

You don't have a bridge to sell, nor anything else for that matter. As I said, nothing Turkey has done has interfered
with Israel making peace with the Palestinians..nothing. Israel would be wise to repair relations with Turkey.
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shira Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-16-11 01:17 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. I never said Turkey has interfered with Israel making peace with Palesitnians.
Edited on Thu Jun-16-11 01:18 PM by shira
It's Turkey's choice to join Iran and Syria's orbit.

Israel has as almost as little chance restoring relations with Turkey as it does with Lebanon, now under more Hezbollah control than ever.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-18-11 06:08 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. 'Turkey to demand Assad oust brother from military'
A Turkish envoy will travel to Damascus in the coming days to bring a "warning letter" to Syrian President Bashar Assad, telling him to enact reforms and to remove his brother Maher Assad from the command of Syria's Republican Guard and the Fourth Armored Division, Al-Arabiya reported on Saturday. Maher Assad is largely believed to be behind the three-month old violent crackdown on anti-regime protesters.

The Turkish envoy will ask for Assad to grant Syrians freedom to demonstrate, freedom of expression and to lift the ban on political parties, particularly the Muslim Brotherhood, according to the report.

Turkey is willing to give refuge to Maher Assad or organize refuge for him in a European country and will promise that he will not face criminal prosecution, Al-Arabiya reported.

The report came as Syrian troops and gunmen loyal to Assad stormed a town near the Turkish border, burning houses and arresting 70 people, witnesses said, in a wide-ranging military assault to crush a three month uprising.

http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=225545
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-18-11 06:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. Lebanon sends troops after residents clash on Syria
(Reuters) - Lebanon's army clamped down on two sectarian districts of a northern city on Saturday after a rally in support of anti-government protestors in Syria triggered deadly clashes between rival gunmen.

Troops manned checkpoints and searched cars and houses in Tripoli's Bab al-Tebbaneh neighborhood, a Sunni Muslim stronghold, and Jabal Mohsen neighborhood, whose residents hail from the same Alawite sect as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The communities' long-running feud erupted into violence on Friday after dozens of people took to Tripoli's Nour Square to show support for a three-month-old Syrian revolt that has drawn bloody crackdowns by Assad's government.

Security sources said between four and seven people, among them a boy and a soldier, were killed as street fighters attacked each other with assault rifles and grenades. At least 48 people were wounded.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/18/us-lebanon-clash-idUSTRE75H0QF20110618
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-16-11 09:29 AM
Response to Original message
2. Yeah, Turkey has an "overheated economy" too, and there is lots of advice on how to "fix" it. nt
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-16-11 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
4. Erdogan leads Turkey - and the Middle East
Situating oneself in a fairly recent decade, if one were to suggest that someday Turkey, a staunchly secularist country, could have an Islamist head of government, it would have seemed a joke. And to suggest that an Islamist leader could as well prove to be the longest-serving leader in that country, second only to Kemal Attaturk, its founder and father figure, would have seemed a macabre joke.

"No way, the Pashas will never allow it to happen." That would be the repartee. The Pashas, or civil or military authorities, are confined to barracks. The results of the parliamentary elections held in Turkey on Sunday need to be put in historical perspective.

Without doubt, the resounding victory by the ruling party AKP (Justice and Development Party) led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, with a mandate of 50% of popular support is a landmark event. Victory was expected, but not on a scale exceeding the 47% mandate of the 2007 elections.

The heart of the matter is that Turkey is reaching unprecedented heights of economic prosperity and is a land at peace after several decades of strife, bloodshed and chronic political instability. The contrast couldn't be sharper with its neighborhood, which is passing through great upheaval and uncertainties.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MF15Ak01.html
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-18-11 06:05 PM
Response to Original message
8. The new Ottomans?
One of the fastest-growing economies in the world Turkey gazes in many directions to become the superpower it once was.

Following another resounding electoral victory, Prime Minister Erdogan's Justice and Development Party has been emboldened to further increase Turkey's role on the world stage.

Ankara has rediscovered its global ambitions. This emerging regional power is now the fastest-growing G20 country after China, and has risen to be the 16th largest economy in the world.

The Turkish government prides itself on promoting a foreign policy as unique as the country's geography. Straddling both East and West, it has tried to maintain good diplomatic relations with all sides. But when the European Union started moving the goalposts, Turkey began to look East.

http://english.aljazeera.net/programmes/empire/2011/06/201161682640911172.html
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-18-11 07:36 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. Fascinating, watch out Israel..best to make friends with your neighbors.n/t
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-18-11 08:26 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. We will see.
The Turks have been around a long time, and they have kicked some ass in their day. On the other hand Jeebus is not on their side any more than anybody else.

I posted these mostly for the "Turkey is an Iranian tool" people and the "Turkey is going to Islamist Hell" people. I've been pointing out since Bush told them to screw off in the runup to the Iraqi debacle that it was a mistake to treat them without respect, so I'm basically touting how right I was here.

They seem to be getting seriously annoyed with Assad now, too, which I consider a good thing.
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tootrueleft Donating Member (385 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-18-11 08:31 PM
Response to Reply #12
13. As an aside
From the stories my father passed down to me, the turks are, man for man, a force to be reckoned with. They're measured, honorable and relentless.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-18-11 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. Hi.
I can go with "a force to be reckoned with", history is clear, and I congratulate them on their rise from the rubble of WWI. Hubris would not serve them better than anyone else, however.
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shaayecanaan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-19-11 07:42 AM
Response to Reply #13
19. Thats the impression in Australia as well...
The Battle of Gallipoli with the Turks is seen as the nation`s "coming of age" and occupies a similar place in Australian folklore as the Alamo does for Americans, albeit magnified about a hundredfold.

The Turks are seen by and large as "worthy adversaries" and all that tosh. Of course, at the same time that the Gallopoli battle was happening the largest massacre in the history of the near East was being waged by Turks against Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks. Somehow that hasnt been picked up on.
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-18-11 08:32 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. I'm not surprised at Turkey's attempts with Assad, it makes sense
for them to do so, and nothing else seems to influence him. I do find it fascinating and I will add, perplexing
if Israel does not repair this relationship...it's just too dumb not to. How much more isolation can one
country survive, I honestly don't know.
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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-18-11 08:41 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. It's not hard to understand why Turkey is annoyed.
Edited on Sat Jun-18-11 08:42 PM by bemildred
I think Assad is toast, don't know how long it will go on though, and I thought he'd played his hand pretty well up to this point; but I think he is a figurehead, and has been all along, and the "ruling elites" jerked his chain when things got sticky.

Edit: we are probably going to get a fake replacement for Assad soon, some military guy who promises "democratic reform" while he is "restoring order".
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-18-11 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Re: your edit, that is likely a horrible truth.
The current leaders of Israel are not the sharpest knives in the drawer?
There is also the High-School Football game theory of politics, root for your side no matter what.(end)

Oh they're good at perpetuating war, kind of like their best friend, us.

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bemildred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-18-11 08:49 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. The current leaders of Israel are not the sharpest knives in the drawer?
There is also the High-School Football game theory of politics, root for your side no matter what.
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