By Edmond Y. Azadian
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan is intoxicated with success after his party’s third electoral victory handed him a mandate for domestic and legislative reform, with boundless gusto to go after Ergenekon operatives to demonstrate to the civilized world that he means business in putting Turkey’s house in order.
The brunt of that gusto targets also the restive Kurdish minority, which is in a bloody clash with the police and the army.
Erdogan’s foreign policy guru, Ahmet Davutoglu, had devised his zero-problem-with-neighbors stance, although that zero-problem policy thus far has yielded only zero results, as Armenia’s foreign minister, Eduard Nalbandian, has indicated. Now it is headed further south for negative dividends. Turkey has begun to move its warships from the Black Sea to the Mediterranean in a challenge to NATO, Israeli and Greek naval forces, which have dominated the Eastern basin of the seaway, in a part of the world where many conflagrations are extant.
Erdogan’s mounting dispute with Israel has crossed another threshold, reaching a point beyond the demand for an apology for the Mavi Marmara incident and plainly declaring his intentions to break the Israeli blockade of the Gaza strip. Erdogan’s intoxication is derived from the success of his lip service to the Palestinian case, which Turkey has translated into an economic boom throughout the Muslim world.
Israeli policymakers who were looking for creative formulas to meet the Turkish demand, now have scrapped those efforts for a more assertive and aggressive posture.