INTERNATIONAL > Turkey ‘cannot agree’ with US Gaza rhetoric

ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu says Turkey cannot agree that Israel was using its right of self defense during the recent Gaza operation

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Palestinians school girls walk on the rubble of a building destroyed during earlier Israeli bombardment, as they make their way to their nearby school in Gaza City after the hard-won cease-fire. AFP photo

Palestinians school girls walk on the rubble of a building destroyed during earlier Israeli bombardment, as they make their way to their nearby school in Gaza City after the hard-won cease-fire. AFP photo

Turkey cannot agree with the U.S. rhetoric over the deadly Gaza strikes but this does not signal a rift between Ankara and Washington, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said yesterday.

Ankara and Washington have different views on the recent Israeli operations in Gaza, Davutoğlu said.

“As children were massacred in Gaza, Turkey cannot agree [with U.S. President Barack] Obama’s saying that Israel was using its right of self defense,” Davutoğlu said in a televised interview with private channel CNNTürk. A global power like the U.S. should also reflect conscience, the minister said, adding that Washington did not act that way regarding the Gaza incident.

“Yet, it does not mean Turkey is in a crisis with the U.S.” Davutoğlu said Turkey would act in light of its principles. The minister cited the Israeli attack on Gaza in 2008 and said the Tel Aviv administration was repeating its offensive just after the U.S. elections and prior to the Israeli ones.

Davutoğlu said that during a recent phone conversation with U.S. Secretary State Hillary Clinton, he said Israel’s attack on Gaza had aimed to cause distress to Washington. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had criticized Obama last week over his stance on Gaza violence while President Abdullah Gül said everybody expected the U.S. to warn Israel at the time of the crisis.

Inspection today

Regarding Russian and Iranian criticism of the Patriot system that Turkey requested from NATO last week, Davutoğlu said no one should be concerned by the use of intercept missiles. “These systems are solely defensive mechanisms and will not become active unless there is a direct threat to our country’s security.” Iran said Turkey’s plans to deploy Patriots would add to the region’s problems. “The installation of such systems in the region has negative effects and will intensify problems in the region,” Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani said while Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said the deployment will make the situation more difficult and complicated.

A delegation from NATO, including German and Dutch officials will pay a visit to Turkey today for a Patriot site survey.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also dismissed the criticisms over the deployment.
“No one should come up with different meanings over the measures we take on our border,” Erdoğan said, adding that Turkey is obliged to take “defensive measures” as a NATO member. Davutoğlu dismissed analysis suggesting that Turkey had been sidelined during the negotiations for truce between Hamas and Israel with Egypt’s rise as a new regional power.

Palestine’s UN bid

There was “no role stealing by Egypt” since foreign policy is not a zero-sum game, he said. “Egypt is our most important strategic partner in the Middle East,” the minister said, adding Turkey and the Arab country were not rivals for regional leadership.

Davutoğlu also said he would participate in the U.N. General Assembly meeting next week if the Palestinians could finish the procedure to apply for recognition as a nonmember state.


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Notice on comments

Aydin Amsterdam

11/26/2012 8:24:07 PM

lior, you have to change your name into LIAR. fitch recently UPgraded turkey's status. keep on going with your lies and your negative comments about turkey. it's just pathetic to read the negative comments about turkey of people like you.

Tekion Particle

11/26/2012 7:19:15 PM

In 2008 Israel massacred over 1500 innocent men, women and children and called it self defense. Hamas is an unscrupulous organization run by people who live on a different plain of existence, they certainly do not care about the Palestinian people. Israel is is at the other end of the spectrum but equally brutal and ruthless. Ultimately it is the innocents people in the middle who get killed. Using overwhelming fire power of fighter jets and artillery against unarmed people is not self defense

Lior Uziel

11/26/2012 5:07:43 PM

There is no problem in criticizing Israel. We criticize ours;eves as well. It is important to suggest a different way for us to handle ourselves with regards to our neighbors, but to do that when completely ignoring our perceptive is not beneficial. We don't hear Turkey as we assume that it is biased. Why biased? because you care and cry for Arabs more than you do for Jews. Because you parallel the west arrogance towards Arabs as Israel's behavior towards Palestinians.

american american

11/26/2012 3:46:30 PM

israel must be doing something right if it is making those authoritarian and islamist regimes angry

Roger Harding

11/26/2012 2:22:22 PM

Obama is a good man. But, firmly in AIPAC's golden cage. No US President can stand up to Israel lobby properly. However, do not forget USA was slow to oppose Apartheid in South Africa as well. They came around eventually. So, there is hope. Turkey does not buy Israel's tired rhetoric anymore. Others are welcome to continue to do so, if they wish. Only democracy in the ME, security, self defense etc. It is time to question Israel's narrative. Turkey is leading that effort.

Lior Uziel

11/26/2012 12:57:48 PM

Jobs yes of course, Obama is the tool of the Jewish lobby, so is the entire free world as they support the latest operation... The Zionist controls everything (accept when they don't but then it is the world waking up for several seconds and doing what's right). And regarding humanity, too bad the PM and FM didn't shed a tear (I really don't need the total sobbing and crying scene) on Israeli children being bombarded for 12 years ever since we withdrew from Gaza. Double standards it's a blessing

Al Rashid

11/26/2012 12:56:53 PM

Mr Davutoglu must be doing something right. He is making those Zionists very angry. No one questions a nations right to defend itself. But what all decent people should question is how this cowardly racist entity which is always the aggressor can slaughter with impunity. The bombs really arn't that smart. As for the US, in a plutocracy you do what the financiers tell you.

Jobs jon

11/26/2012 12:40:05 PM

The Turkish FM does not talk about anything but the truth and reality. Obama is a show piece of Israeli lobby. Wish he had the guts to speak his own mind and only the truth. Turkey is a better country now any anytime before as it can stand up for humanity.

Lior Uziel

11/26/2012 11:48:02 AM

@Red tail, w.r.t economy being great... Look at Fitch reports (Fitch is the biggest credit company, evaluating countries and thus stating their "Rating" for investments): Turkey's debt is the highest in the world!!! AKP used a known trick of borrowing enormous amounts of money, thus making as if the economy is great (loan me a million $ and I shall look as if I am doing great), but the balloon will explode soon. Fitch has recently degraded Turkey's rating and it shall continue to drop!

stella maris

11/26/2012 11:44:21 AM

Well, actually I doubt that US will be very concerned with FM not agreeing, it is rather turkey who should be concerned about losing another ally and especially the one who claimed Erdogan to be "among his five best friends". Did you nreally think US would go on to tolerate you supporting terrorists against its only reliable ally in the ME?
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