Turkey will counterterrorism?

Two days ago, On Tuesday September the 20th, a terror attack hit the Turkish capital of Ankara. Dozens were injured, at least three were killed. This is another attack in a long line of terror attacks against Turkey, supposedly (no real confirmation as of yet) by the PKK – a Kurdish terror organization, fighting violently for an independent state over territories belonging to Turkey, Iraq, Syria and Iran.

Later that same day, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan met with United States President Barrack Obama. In their joint press statements, they both addressed and condemned the attack. Obama went as far as talking about Turkey one of the main players in the fight against terrorism. “This reminds us that terrorism exists in many parts of the world, and Turkey and the United States are going to be strong partners in preventing terrorism.” Really? Turkey?

Don’t get me wrong – this attack, as does any terror and violent attack should be and is condemned on the strongest of terms. The loss of life, especially in such as cowardly despicable way, is always tragic. But when it comes to battling terrorism, Turkey has always been interested in battling those fighting her and her alone. The recent tensions between Israel and Turkey, brought forth by the publication of The Palmer Report and a desire to use the bashing of Israel as the common denominator in the middle east, are only the recent examples of how Turkey under Erdogan’s rule constantly supports not only terrorism aimed at Israel, but terror in general.

For example, in 2006 the Palestinians election favored the terror group of Hamas. Hamas, who since its’ establishment and to this day, calls for the destruction of Israel and Jihad against its’ citizens (which took the form of some of  the cruelest, deadliest and most horrible terror attacks against Israeli civilians as well as the continued barrage of rockets fired at its’ people for over a decade now), received majority of the votes. 44% to be exact. However, this was not enough to form a government. They needed another faction, Fatah, to form a coloation and a government. At that time, Fatah has made global international ties with the western world, mainly because of its’ announcement to abandon terror and recognize Israel’s right to exist. Furthermore, Fatah has begun working with Israel to prevent terror attack emerging from the West Bank in order to maintain their international western recognition. Hamas refused to sit in a government with them. A bloodshed war ensued and one year later, in July of 2007, Hamas took over the Gaza Strip by violence, expelling and tormenting Fatah members who ran to Israeli and Egyptian soldiers at the borders for cover.

When Hamas claimed victory over the elections, the international community was willing to recognize it under some conditions. The European Union, which Turkey aspired desperately to be a part of at the time, demanded only three things from Hamas: Abandon the ways of terror, Recognize Israel’s right to exist and recognize past agreements signed with Israel. Hamas declined all three demands. Instead, he continued to plot terror attacks against Israel, opened said war with Fatah that brought many agony to the Palestinian people, and continued to fire rocket at its’ citizens. In 2006 alone over 100 Qassam rockets hit Israel and wounded dozens. But despite Hamas’ refusal to stop terror, on Match 2006, Hamas’ leader in Syria (Hamas’ headquarters and higher ranks residing in Damascus), Khaled Mashal made an official visit to Turkey and met with Prime Minister Erdogan. Just the previous month, a rocket fired by Hamas made a direct hit at a home in Karmia village and injured 4 people, among them a 7-months old baby.

To this day, though the rockets have continued (and in fact intensified over the years so much Israel launched an offensive against Hamas in December of 2008), Turkey remained a supporter of Hamas. It has made countless statements and provocative announcement and actions (such as Mashal’s visit) towards Israel but has been very silent in comparison when it came to Hamas. Turkey has demanded Israel will lift its’ blockade over Gaza, put in place because of the hostile takeover and the rockets fired at Israel, but its’ voice at demanding Hamas will abandon terror and recognize Israel – an action that will cause the blockade to be lifted – was not heard. Moreover, as Hamas’ continued war against Israel and refuse to acknowledge it and talk peace with it forces over 1.5 million Gazans to live in constant state of war, Turkey continued to solely blame Israel while embracing terrorists. To this day, Turkey has not condemned the terror attack against Israel on 18/08/2011 but while visiting Egypt, whose territory was used for the attack, he strongly condemned Israel. While trying to quote a Jewish commandment of “Shall not kill” (blaming Israel for blindly killing Gazans in its’ war against Hamas), Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan demanded Israel will stop its’ own war on terror because of the civilians casualties but has not made such attempt or call to Hamas (not to mention Turkey employs similar tactics in its’ war against PKK – airstrikes on targets which unfortunately result in civilian casualties…)

Moreover, until [11 weeks into] the “Arab Spring” in Syria, Turkey has been a close ally of Bashar al-Ashad regime, and Ahmadinejad’s oppressing regime in Iran. Both of these leaders are countries have been engaging in previous years in massive shipments of weapons and various artillery to terror groups. Among them are Hezbollah and Hamas , but weapons have also been smuggled to various terror groups in the Gaza Strip other than Hamas, such as Iz-a-din El-Qassam Brigades and even The Popular Resistance Committee which committed the latest deadly terror attack on Israel. Some of these shipments have been seized by Israel, such as on board the ships of the ‘Francop’ and the ‘Victoria’ where weapons were hidden behind humanitarian supplies in shipment cargo. These shipments are in fact the reason Israel imposed a naval blockade on the Gaza Strip.

Make no mistake – Turkey takes a real part in combating terror, not only when it’s aimed against itself. It’s membership in NATO and strong ties with the West, as well as the latest deployment of an advance radar system on their territory, are a few of the actions Turkey has taken to counter terrorism. But when it comes to Israel, Turkey time and time again favors the terrorists. If it weren’t for it’s ties with the West and the pressure put on him, Turkey Prime Minister Erdogan might have crossed the Rafah border on his visit to Egypt and met with Hamas leaders in the Strip (as he threatened to do many times before), all the while completely ignoring their refusal to stop their terror or to choose a path of peace in stead of the path of war, bloodshed, incitement and hate.

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