The Financial Times writes today that Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a passionate speech in Cairo yesterday has said the “Israel must pay a price for its aggression and crimes”. They also write that this has alarmed Israel and that it worries the US. Erdogan also calls for the acceptance of Palestine as a state via the UN.
Turkey has now permanented its policy shift with this tough stance against Israel where it also tried to work up an aggression among other states in the area. Erdogan has also said that he will bring a Turkish naval escort to a new Ship to Gaza flotilla at the same time as he says the Mavi Marmara incident was an act of war.
In the mean time rioters attacked the Israeli embassy in Cairo. Israel brought home some 80 embassy personnel but has since said that they will try to restore the for them important mission in Egypt. After all, Egypt is one of two countries in the Middle East that has a diplomatic relationship with Israel. The other one is Jordan. The Turkish diplomatic relationship is on hold as is the earlier close military collaboration. Turkey has, though, agreed under the flag of NATO to harbor radars for missiles from Iran on their territory. It seems like Erdogan is forcing the US and NATO to choose him or Israel.
Erdogan is currently on a trip to Egypt, Tunisia and Libya hopefully as a model for Arab modernization. It would be of great concern if the trip in reality turns out to be forging a coalition against Israel in these fledgling states. The problem at hand is that Erdogan is not acting favorably to a fellow democratic nation but rather walks the religious line.