About a week ago Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan met his Lebanese counterpart, Hariri, who visited Turkey. Erdogan made several sharp statements directed at Israel and its policies against Lebanon as a result of those meetings. Here are some things Erdogan said:
“It is impossible for us to remain silent about what Israel has been doing. We believe that pressure should be exerted on the Israeli administration. According to UN resolutions, Israel has violated rules over 100 times. If they are not to be implemented, why do these rules exist?”
This is a very strong and clear message directed against what once was one of Turkey’s closest allies in the region. And we do agree with what Turkish PM Erdogan is saying. After all, peace is in everyone’s interest. But what about Cyprus? Are there not similar UN resolutions in place against Turkey? Who will speak out for those?
The story goes on. Erdogan was also quoted as saying “we will never stay silent” with regards to Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace and branded that as an “unacceptable action that threatens global peace”. Did we hear that right? Is the Turkish Prime Minister claiming that military over flights of another country’s airspace can threaten global peace? Having recently seen the statistics of the number of over flights the Turkish Air Force has conducted of Greek territory in 2009 Erdogan’s comment “sent us flying”.
The Turkish Air Force conducted 51 over flights of Greek sovereign territory in 2009. These are not airspace violations, of which there were thousands, but actual over flights of Greek soil, including mock bombing runs on Greek installations. Also, the number 51 point to incidents, each “incident” consisting of multiple aircraft, usually between 2 and 6.
Maybe we’re looking at this too simplistically but is all this not a clear admission by Turkey that Turkey in fact threatens world peace? Obviously, all idealism aside, nobody in Turkey will ever admit that and there will always be some excuse as to why Turkey’s own hostile actions are actually in the interest of peace and so forth. Also, double standards are practically the essence of international politics. But really, normally we’re used to their implementation being a bit more subtle. You have to hand it to Turkey. They have the guts and conviction to say what they stand for, even if they totally contradict themselves.