Erdogan desparately needed this raprochement. So did Obama. So why did Netanyahu have to eat crow. Erdogan should have been forced by necessity to eat crow to teach him a lesson. Bibi didn’t just pick up the phone at the last minute. Rest assured this apology was scripted and agreed upon before Obama arrived in Israedl. Ted Belman
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 23, 2013, 1:51 PM
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu granted the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan a face-saver for ending their three-year rift out of willingness to crown US President Barack Obama’s three-day visit with an impressive diplomatic breakthrough. He swallowed Israel and its army’s pride and, at the airport, with Obama looking on, picked up the phone to Erdogan and apologized for the killing by Israeli soldiers of nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists in 2010 aboard the Mavi Marmara, which was leading a flotilla bound on busting the Israeli blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
The crowing comment by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu — “Turkey’s basic demands have been met; we got what we wanted” — was out of place, spiteful and ill-mannered.
He knows perfectly well that for the past year, amid a constant stream of ranting abuse from Ankara, Israel has been quietly responding to Turkey’s desperate need for cooperation in four essential fields, which are disclosed here by DEBKAfile:
1. The Turkish armed forces are heavily dependent on Israeli military technologies from the long years of the close alliance between the two countries, which Ankara cut short. This dependence applies most particularly to its drones, the backbone of today’s modern armies. It is also holding up the huge transaction for the sale of American Boeing Awacs electronic warning airplanes to Turkey.
Boeing was unable to deliver the aircraft without Jerusalem’s consent, because a key component, the early warning systems, is designed in Israel. This consent has been withheld in the face of Turkey’s urgent need and the US aviation firm’s impatience to consummate the deal.
Turkey is in need of those planes — not just to monitor events in neighboring wartorn Syria, but to complete its air defense lineup against Iranian ballistic missiles. Without the AWACs, the advanced FBX-radar system the US has stationed at the Turkish Kurecik air base is only partly operational. The Kurecik battery is linked to its equivalent at a US base in the Israeli Negev, a fact which Ankara chooses to conceal.
2. In view of the turmoil in Syria, the bulk of Turkey’s exports destined for the Persian Gulf and points farther east have been diverted to the Israeli ports of Haifa and Ashdod, whereas just a year ago, they went through Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
Since no end is seen to the Syrian conflict and the closure of the Turkish-Syrian border, more and more export traffic from Turkey is making its way through Haifa port and thence by rail across Israel to Jordan. Turkish goods bound for …read more