The CIA director has pressed, Israel will apologize
EYÜP CANThe low-profile visit of the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) David Petraeus to Turkey was extensively debated in the corridors of power. It was the Syrian scenarios that found their way into the papers.
Several assertions were made ranging from support for the opposition to Bashar al-Assad’s possible use of chemical weapons. What is happening in Syria was indeed the topic of the talks between the undersecretary of National Intelligence Organization (MİT), Hakan Fidan, and CIA Director Petraeus.
But the real aim of the visit was different. It was Fehmi Koru who wrote the only notable article on the subject yesterday by assembling the pieces together under his alias, Taha Kıvanç:
“Why has nobody noticed that Petraeus was in our region for a two-legged visit? In fact, Petraeus diverted his plane to Tel Aviv for the second leg of his tour after his talks in Istanbul. He will convey the mood he found here to the people he will meet in Israel. I don’t like to enunciate but let me write an expectation of mine: Petraeus might feel the need to stop in Turkey again after Israel… This is because the reason for his visit to our region nowadays might be to end the deadlock in the Israel-Turkey relationship that is bothering almost every quarter in the United States…”
I don’t know whether Petraeus will come back to Turkey again after Israel.
However, Fehmi Koru is 100 percent correct on the real aim of the visit.
Petraeus came to Turkey to repair the relations between the two countries. For this reason, he swiftly continued onto Israel.
Well, what did he say?
He explained to Turkey how crucial the normalization of Turkey-Israel relations was for both countries and for the U.S. while major upheavals are occurring in the region. He gave the message that Israel should officially apologize for the nine Turkish citizens it killed so that this problem comes to an end.
Because Turkish officials have been insisting, from the beginning, that “an official apology is a sine qua non for the restart of relations,” Ankara welcomed Petraeus’ proposal.
Meanwhile, there is another detail that fell off the map. Namely, that Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman accompanied the CIA director on this visit.
Senators McCain and Lieberman are not ordinary senators. McCain was the presidential candidate of the Republicans in the last elections. And Lieberman was his deputy. Both of them are very close to the Israeli government.
Apparently, U.S. President Barack Obama wants the Turkey-Israel relationship to recover as soon as possible in this critical period. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have sent along two senators, his rivals in the presidential elections, to accompany Petraeus.
Up to this point, it was corridors and analysis.
However, now, let’s see the second leg of the trip and whether the aim is met or not.
Sit tight; after all the zigzagging, and probably with this visit, Turkey will receive the official apology it is expecting from Israel.
And from whom?
From Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who has been opposing the apology the most.
Because, the same message conveyed to Turkey was also delivered to Israel the other day in a very clear fashion. The message is this:
“The Middle East is boiling. There is too much uncertainty. The Mavi Marmara flotilla crisis is not for the advantage of both countries. Apologize to Turkey just as we did when we accidentally killed 24 civilians in Pakistan and finish this matter.”
The message was taken. How do I know about it?
From daily Yedioth, which best feels the pulse of the Foreign Ministry in Israel:
“Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said he was ready to issue a similar apology statement like the one the U.S. did after it killed civilians in Pakistan.”
It is Lieberman personally who gave the above statement after Petraeus’ visit. In other words, the person who caused the flotilla crisis to escalate to its present stage.
What do you think? Has the aim been reached?
The Turkish Foreign Ministry has not received a written official apology from Lieberman. But it is imminent…
I wanted to inform Fehmi Koru, who correctly drew attention to the subject in his column yesterday: Israel will apologize this time.
Eyüp Can is a columnist for daily Radikal in which this piece was published on Sept 6. It was translated into English by the Daily News staff.
EYÜP CAN - firstname.lastname@example.org