Image 01 Image 03

Turkish PM: Thanks for the apology Bibi, but not good enough

Turkish PM: Thanks for the apology Bibi, but not good enough

Diplomatic failure in a fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan

Obama’s only diplomatic achievement in the Middle East has been to make Bibi Netanyahu bow down apologize to the anti-Israeli Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, as reported here yesterday, How do you say “Apologize For What?!” in Hebrew?

Knowing the insane anti-Israeli venom we have seen from Erdogan in the past, it was obvious that he would not be appeased.

And indeed, within a day Erdogan has announced that the apology both was a victory for him and not enough to restore relations between Turkey and Israel.  It also was viewed as a sign of Israeli weakness by Hamas, which is cheering the apology.

Via Jerusalem Post:

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday that despite Israel’s apology over the IDF raid of the 2010 Gaza-bound flotilla, it is still too early to drop the case against IDF generals accused by Ankara of being responsible for the death of nine Turkish activists aboard the Mavi Marmara, Turkish newspaper Today’s Zaman reported.

Erdogan said Netanyahu’s apology satisfied Turkish expectations when he used the word “apology” instead of “regret,” but that it was still too soon to fully restore diplomatic ties and appoint new ambassadors, Turkish daily Hurriyet reported….

Erdogan also confirmed that he intends to visit Gaza and the West Bank next month. “I may eventually visit Gaza and the West Bank in April. This visit would take place in the context of a general effort to contribute to the resolution process [of the Palestinian issue],” he said….

Today’s Zaman quoted Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh as saying that Erdogan and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal had arranged the Turkish prime minister’s visit to Gaza in a phone conversation in which the Turkish leader had briefed Hamas on the apology from Netanyahu.

According to Haniyeh, Erdogan told Mashaal that Netanyahu had promised to “lift the siege on the Palestinian people.”….

An official Hamas statement released Friday applauded Erdogan for having won the apology from Netanyahu.

Bulent Yildirim, mastermind behind the Gaza flotilla, expressed his pride over Netanyahu’s formal apology to Turkey for the raid, Hurriyet reported on Friday.

What a joke. Who could have been responsible for this diplomatic debacle?

[John] Kerry helped prepare for the phone call, which took place at Ben-Gurion Airport minutes before Obama’s departure Friday. Obama spoke first to Erdogan, then handed the phone to Netanyahu, who apologized for “operational errors” that led to loss of life on the Marmara.

Update: The apology has fed Erdogan’s dreams of a renewed Ottoman Empire:

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday an Israeli apology for the 2010 deaths of nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists that was brokered by U.S. President Barack Obama met Turkey’s conditions and signaled its growing regional clout.

“We are entering a new period in both Turkey and the region,” said Erdogan, who plans to visit the Palestinian territories, including the Gaza Strip, next month.

“We are at the beginning of a process of elevating Turkey to a position so that it will again have a say, initiative and power, as it did in the past.”


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


SoftPower(tm) will kill a lot of people before this is all over.

Our enemies are no longer afraid of us and our friends do not feel protected.

Obama’s Foreign Policy encourages Islamic arrogance and miscalculation. Any blood shed belongs on his hands.

“reminiscent of Genghis Jenjhis Khan”

Even a cat knows not to jump on a stove again once it has been burned. Yet human politicians cannot seem to learn the lesson of appeasement, of its perverse consequences, of the folly of unilateral apology when no apology is justified. Everything I thought I knew about Netanyahu told me that he of all people would have known this with iron certainty. And yet. Amazing. How many times do we need to repeat this failure?

    creeper in reply to raven. | March 23, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    I don’t think Netanyahu trusted Erdogan for one second. I suspect Obama offered him something from US in return for the apology and that he thought brokering said apology would bring him some street cred with Muslims, who seem pretty disappointed in him lately. I also suspect any cred he might have gained with Islamists went down the drain with the release of pictures of him wearing a yarmulke. “Smartest man in the room,” my (_!_).

As long as we insist on treating barbarians as if they were civilized, we remain at their mercy.

The Turkish Today’s Zaman leads off optimistically:

Turkish PM Erdoğan welcomes Israel’s Mavi Marmara apology

Down in the text:

The breakthrough came as a result of what appears to be a US bid to normalize relations between the two former allies. <snip>

“I accepted the apology in the name of the Turkish people,” Erdoğan remarked.

In response to a question by reporters, he said it was early to talk on the dropping of the Mavi Marmara case where four Israeli generals are standing accused for their role in the death of the Turkish citizens aboard the Mavi Marmara ship.

Erdoğan also said he had talks with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during the negotiation process with Israel.

In the previous post about the apology I wondered if this was part of an arrangement whereby Israel and Turkey would coordinate on Iran and Syria. It no longer looks that way. It looks, instead, like Barry has given away another increment of American power in exchange for a moment of favorable press.

I wonder how those American Jews who voted overwhelmingly for Obama will rationalize this. My best guess is that they’ll pretend it never happened.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to gs. | March 23, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Sorry to hear you were so naive. Israel & Turkey vs Iran & Syria. As if.

      This, after I made the effort a) to contribute information to the discussion, and b) to follow that information where it leads.

        BannedbytheGuardian in reply to gs. | March 23, 2013 at 6:50 pm

        Two omissions from the equation .

        Kurds & Iraq. They are much bigger players than morsi or the PLO Hamas .

Henry Hawkins | March 23, 2013 at 4:32 pm

One consideration is that more than a few Middle Eastern states say one thing about Iran in public, serving the appearance of Arab unity, while privately hoping for an entirely different outcome as regards Iran, a state so rogue it scares its own putative allies. I hope Erdogan’s public face is more posturing than reflective of reality.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Henry Hawkins. | March 23, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    Iranians are Persians not Arabs . They have been a counterbalance for millenniums.

    Sort of like America / Canada . 🙂

    Hehe I am going to use that for everything now.

TrooperJohnSmith | March 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Kill 10-20 Israeli citizens going about their daily lives on a bus or in a shopping venue, and it’s just Middle-East politics as usual. Kill nine “activists” [cough-cough] on a “peace” [gag-choke] flotilla, and nothing short of outright surrendering to Hamas and Hezbollah is not good enough.

Nice job, Mr. Prez-O-Bama! You’ve earned yourself 89 more rounds of golf, a victory lap with the Lapdog Media and 18 more luxury vacations at taxpayer expense!

You can’t call this guy a joke any longer. What’s lower than that?

Henry Hawkins | March 23, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Did they explain to Erdogan that Kerry is a Viet Nam veteran?

BannedbytheGuardian | March 23, 2013 at 5:12 pm

Netanyahu is in big trouble .

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a zillion times, NOTHING is ever gained from a position of weakness!

The practice of weakness is the anointed one’s chief attribute and it is working – to bring this nation down a peg or two or three.

Descending to knocking on the door of third nation status is not good enough for him as I truly believe that nothing would please him more to have some country become the world’s sole superpower.

Unnerving to say the least…

What Benjamin Netanyahu did was right, in spite of all the unpopularity of the decision. This doesn’t mean Tayip Erdogan gets a pass. His anti-semetism is on display, and the fact we are talking about Erdogan saying Bibi’s apology wasn’t enough highlights his own intransigence. If the world feels Israel is too weak to defend itself, by way of apologizing for a mistake, then the world is in for a big surprise, in my opinion.

Juba Doobai! | March 23, 2013 at 8:15 pm

Here’s the upside of Netanyahu’s “apology.” Having made it, and having humiliated himself by making it, having had it rejected by the Turks, having the Hamas and company see the apology as a sign of Israeli weakness, the world is shown once again that Muslims are only interested in seeing Jews dead.

Moreover, Netanyahu’s hands are now free to do as they will with the intransigents who will come after Israel again. For, you can bet your bottom dollar that another “peace flotilla” will depart Turkey with arms and terrorists bound for Gaza in the full expectation that Netanyahu, apologetic and desirous of making nice with Turkey, will let them pass. You can also get that Netanyahu, having been dissed, unwisely, by the Turk, Erdogan, will show how far his apology really went (not too far), by having the vessel boarded with the result that the Turks real intent will be once again revealed.

You can also bet that the world will ignore all of that and denounce Israel for intercepting a vessel full of implements of “peace” and “peace-making” terrorists.