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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

November 07, 2002

Israel and Turkey relationship good and reliable

An excerpt from, in which he recounts his having lived in Turkey and gives some solid and useful information about Turkey and Israel
[...]The Turks – and Iranians – are not Arabic. Turks are Mongolian in origin and speak am Indo-European language, Turkish, linguistically related to Finnish, Hungarian and Korean. They’ve been “Islamic” only recently in world historical terms, and the vast – vast – majority do not consider Islam anything more than an official designation. They see religion as interchangeable with culture, and identify themselves as “Muslim” even though few have ever seen the inside of a mosque except to show Western tourists around. They’re genuinely baffled that Westerners consider them as having anything whatsoever to do with hard-core Islamic terrorist countries, such as Saudi Arabia.

Turkey does not consider itself a Middle Eastern country. It is aware it gets grouped in the Middle East by ignorant Western journalists and pundits, however. It considers itself a European country. It does not approve of, repudiates and does not support Islamic terrorism. Turkey wept at 9/11. Their closest friend in the Middle East, judging from the number of military alliances, cultural exchanges and the like is Israel.

So don’t worry.

All to say friends, do not worry about Turkey’s staunch reliability as an ally. Will they still maintain their ties with America in the wake of the nominally Islamic party’s triumph in the latest elections? Friends, the AKP, the new party in power, has announced that they’re maintaining their current ties with Israel. From The Jerusalem Post, November 6:

There will be no change in Turkish-Israeli ties, a senior member of Turkey's pro-Islamic AKP party, which swept into power this week, told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday, while harshly criticizing the policies of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

“I can easily say that Turkish-Israeli relations will not be affected by a Justice and Development Party AKP government,” said H. Murat Mercan, a founding member and one of its chief spokesmen.

And this isn’t just to curry favor with the West, I can tell you. I knew an American serviceman who was walking through Istanbul in uniform one day, and a Turkish hausfrau called to him from a basement window and beckoned him to come in her humble home. He did, and she served him tea and wonderful pasty, and chattered away in Turkish the whole time. He said he left and couldn’t figure out why she’d done it other than for the American uniform he wore. I can relate; being American has cut me more breaks in Turkey than God should ever have allowed.

This is the truth. From personal experience I can report that in the Turkish resorts of Bodrum, Antalya, et al the signs on tourist traps are written in four languages: Turkish, English, German and Hebrew.

Bottom line: If an American goes overseas he won’t find a more reliable, faithful friend in Europe than the Turk.