The messed-up boxer

The messed-up boxer

Turkey has been humiliated mercilessly on all fronts. The Suleymaniye hood incident was of course the most humiliating, but the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government seems to have forgotten that the American commander who placed our head in a sack was recently given the red carpet treatment in Ankara.

Naturally no one would want Turkey to indulge into a war of attrition with the Israelis over the heinous attack on the Mavi Marmara, which resulted in the murder by Israeli soldiers of eight Turkish nationals, one a Turkish-American.

The tall, bold, bald and ever-yelling absolute ruler of Turkey keeps on repeating the same cliché like a broken record: “No one should dare to test Turkey’s patience. Our wrath is as dreadful as our friendship is precious.”

Uğur Dündar reminded us all of a famous story that I had forgotten this week in his column in the newspaper Sözcü. At a boxing event the favored boxer was somehow getting beaten up by his opponent in every round, and after each round his coach kept telling him it was obvious that he would win, and that the other boxer was in terrible condition. Fed up with his coach’s creative but unrealistic morale-boosting efforts, the dead-beat boxer says “I know I will win the match, but for God’s sake who messed me up?”

It appears that everyone around, friends and foes alike, would like to learn what the dreadful wrath of Turkey might be like. Did Gen. Raymond Odierno have any worries while travelling to Ankara that he might be subjected to – not, of course, to a hood incident – some sort of unwelcome treatment at some level during his visit? No, he knew well how “generous” Turks are.

Did Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have any worries when he declared that his country would not apologize for the Mavi Marmara incident? No, he knew well that the AKP government had decided to gradually sever ties with the Jewish state, irrespective of how the Israelis behaved.

Was Iraq’s Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki concerned about Turkey’s probable wrath when he declared that Turkey was acting in a hostile manner towards his country, or when he threatened retaliation should Turkey continue its alleged airspace or territorial violations? Probably al-Maliki was referring to the security operations Turkey has been staging against the hideouts of the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) gang in the mountains of northern Iraq. Iraq is in tatters. The Baghdad government can rule only in some parts of the country, where every day dozens are losing their lives in the “post-American occupation stability,” which might be best described as a low-profile civil war.

Iran declares every other day that the building of the Malatya radar base was a hostile gesture (obviously), and that hostility against Iran will not go unanswered. Turkey is trying to change the regime in Damascus but its policies are scorned frequently by the Russians.

And the last flop: Three weeks later, Turkey is still trying to discover how its reconnaissance plane was downed (presumably) by Syria, if it was not hit by anti-aircraft gunfire or a missile. Perhaps Syrians hit our plane with a sling-shot? Turkish foreign policy or blather: What is it?