Monday, November 5, 2012

An Open Letter to the Turkish People

The Israeli people are friends of the Turkish people. There are many Israelis of Turkish origin, who maintain a link between our peoples. Our businessmen continue to make deals with your businessmen. We have respect for the Turkish culture and history, and, up until a few years ago, we visited your country in droves.

In contrast, your government headed by PM Erdogan is conducting a disastrous foreign policy. A few years ago your Foreign Minister proudly boasted of his "zero problems with neighbors" strategy. Now, a few years later, you have problems with everybody. Not only are relations with Israel at a low point (due to your government's bottomless stupidity and Erdogan's stubborn contempt for Israel), but you are in conflict with Syria, Iraq, Iran, Armenia and the Kurds. Every day Erdogan blows off more steam at Israel, making baseless accusations and hollow threats.

However, your government's attempt to portray itself as the leader of the Muslim world, by sacrificing its relations with Israel, has backfired. It was easily predictable, too. Because when you decide to cozy up with the likes of Ahmadinejad, Assad and other assorted dictators, it's hard to be a democracy. Then, you have your show trials of Israeli military officials involved in the Marmara affair. These trials will be worthy of an American television court program.

Perhaps Erdogan's strategy of distancing himself from the West (and Israel) seemed like a sensible short term strategy to gain favor with Iran and the Arabs, and increase trade. But now you are paying the price. Even your military is suffering technological losses due to its cutoff from the Israeli military industries. Erdogan should reconsider his strategy, and realize that if Turkey wishes to maintain a democracy, it has no choice but to remain close with its natural allies--democracies-- of which Israel is the only one in the Middle East.

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