Originally published May 27, 2012 • Breitbart.com

Does polit­i­cal pos­tur­ing pass as an indict­ment in Turkey’s judi­cial sys­tem these days? Is Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Recep Tayipp Erdo­gan using a page from the old Arab League, post-Shah Iran­ian play­book again? Will Turkey’s poorly-written sequel about an “aid” ship with “peace­ful human­i­tar­i­ans” car­ry­ing rice and beans (i.e., provo­ca­teurs with ter­ror­ist ties wield­ing metal crow bars and tons of knives) tank?

Turkey’s recent alle­ga­tions are not sur­pris­ing or even shock­ing but expected and pre­dictable given the cur­rent quag­mire Iran faces regard­ing its nuclear pro­gram. May 23, 2012 not only marked the day Iran resumed nuclear talks with the P5+1 group (con­sist­ing of Chi­nese, French, Ger­man, Russ­ian, British and U.S. nego­tia­tors), it was also the day that Turkey turned its judi­cial sys­tem into a laugh­ing­stock by lev­el­ing base­less alle­ga­tions at top Israeli offi­cers for their response to the Turk­ish Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara.

Israel’s left-leaning Haaretz reported that Turkey’s chief pros­e­cu­tor is expected to charge sev­eral top Israeli offi­cers “for order­ing the inten­tional killing of activists dur­ing the 2010 Israel Defense Forces raid of a Gaza-bound aid flotilla.” Pho­tos of the “peace­ful activists” wield­ing iron rods, a stock­pile of weapons con­fis­cated onboard, and Israeli offi­cers who were beaten and stabbed paint a com­pletely dif­fer­ent scenario.

Haaretz stated The Turk­ish Daily Sabah reported Ankara’s pros­e­cu­tor Abdur­rah­man Yal­cinkaya is fil­ing a 144-page indict­ment that oddly enough includes his­tor­i­cal ref­er­ences regard­ing Turkey and Span­ish Jews in the 15th cen­tury along with Ger­man Jewry in the Sec­ond World War. O.k., I think the word base­less can be empha­sized again.

Leave it up to the New York Times to add insult to injury after nam­ing a dif­fer­ent pros­e­cu­tor and rub­bing sand­pa­per on it by adding:

The indict­ment fur­ther rec­om­mended that the four receive addi­tional prison terms total­ing 18,000 years for what it called other crimes com­mit­ted by the Israeli side dur­ing the flotilla raid.

A cor­rec­tion is in order. A mil­i­tary response in self-defense, and to pro­tect a country’s sov­er­eign bor­der can hardly be con­strued as crimes. It is also worth not­ing the crimes com­mit­ted by the Turk­ish side are notice­ably MIA.

The root of this prob­lem lies in Turkey’s posi­tion that Israel’s counter-terrorism block­ade is ille­gal, even though Israel’s Turkel Com­mit­tee Report along with the UN’s Palmer Report both have deemed the block­ade is legal. Given the fact that the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment know­ingly and will­ingly sent armed IHH mem­bers – a known ter­ror­ist group – to break Israel’s counter-terrorism block­ade yet refused to allow Israeli naval offi­cers aboard the Mavi Mar­mara to inspect its cargo is hugely sus­pect. Turkey con­stant finger-pointing while refus­ing to take respon­si­bil­ity for their crimes and reck­less actions makes Turkey’s judi­cial sys­tem a joke. These new alle­ga­tions will likely be viewed as ground­less all while serv­ing as yet another diver­sion for BFF Iran­ian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ahmadine­jad as he attempts to con­vince West­ern pow­ers that his nuke pro­gram is for “peace­ful” purposes.

To under­stand Turkey’s role in this sadis­tic game of “we did it and now Israel has to pay for it”, you first have to under­stand how the rela­tion­ship between these for­mer allies dete­ri­o­rated way before the Mavi Mar­mara sailed on May 31, 2010.

While most media out­lets are report­ing that the Mavi Mar­mara inci­dent led to the chill in Turkish-Israeli rela­tions, the dete­ri­o­ra­tion between Turkey and Israel came about because of Erdogan’s rise to power and his delib­er­ate left turn away from once close West­ern allies towards Islamist coun­tries. Once you under­stand how Erdogan’s influ­ence rose by dis­tanc­ing him­self from demo­c­ra­tic coun­tries while schmooz­ing the likes of Ahmadine­jad and Syr­ian Pres­i­dent al-Bashar Assad, it’s not hard to rec­og­nize des­per­ate mea­sures like Turkey’s lat­est “indictment.”

Inci­den­tally, some IHH mem­bers are inter­twined with Turkey’s gov­ern­ment and have even par­tic­i­pated in some UN efforts, taint­ing the alle­ga­tions even more.

More claims may sur­face that Israel offered to pay mil­lions to the fam­i­lies of the “activists” who died aboard the Mavi Mar­mara like this one. It’s impor­tant to keep in mind that pay­ing for someone’s tragedy doesn’t unan­i­mously equate to guilt. Plenty of “vic­tims” threaten celebri­ties with law­suits unless they “set­tle” out of court. Bot­tom­line remains that Israel has never accepted blame for the deaths of the provo­ca­teurs on the Mavi Mar­mara and likely never will.

If Turkey wanted to help Gazans, they would have deliv­ered “aid” in an entirely dif­fer­ent way. Each week Israel ships tons of goods into Gaza. Israel offers open cross­ing to any coun­try that wishes to deliver goods to Gazans as long as the aid is checked ahead of time to pre­vent arms smug­gling to Iran­ian prox­ies (i.e., ter­ror­ist groups) like Hamas and Hezbol­lah. If Turkey wanted to deliver aid they would have worked through any one of the des­ig­nated Israeli chan­nels to deliver it. They instead wanted to cre­ate an inter­na­tional inci­dent, dele­git­imize Israel, break its legal counter-terrorism block­ade and turn pub­lic opin­ion against the Jew­ish state.

All the while, we can no longer let Turkey’s fic­ti­tious alle­ga­tions take our minds off over 10,000 butchered Syr­i­ans, and Iran’s attempt to pass off nukes as a “cure for can­cer”. This is where astute freedom-lovers must read between the lines. Erdo­gan talks pub­licly about cre­at­ing “a buffer zone” for the tens of thou­sands of dis­placed Syr­i­ans at the hands of his buddy Assad, though I have yet to hear him green light mil­i­tary action to stop his BFF from slaugh­ter­ing Syr­i­ans. Still think Erdo­gan is tired of hear­ing about the Armen­ian geno­cide? I wonder.

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Jennifer Hanin

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