Turkey finally paying for its actions, Jerusalem Post says

Turkey is finally paying the price for distancing itself with the West and for rising authoritarianism under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in the form of U.S. sanctions, the Jerusalem Post said in an editorial published on Thursday.

“After years in which Turkey’s leadership has threatened the region, invaded countries and attacked minority groups while working with Iran and Russia, the United States has finally slapped sanctions on Ankara over its purchase of Russia’s S-400 air defence system,” it said.

On Monday, the United States imposed sanctions on NATO ally Turkey over its acquisition of the S-400 in July 2019. The NATO alliance has said the missile system, which Turkey tested in October, threatens to compromise its defence network.

The punitive measures include a prohibition on granting specific U.S. export licenses for certain military goods and technology, as well as full sanctions and visa restrictions on four officials from Turkey’s defence procurement agency, including chairman İsmail Demir.

“The S-400 is a symbol of Turkey’s general trend to become an authoritarian anti-American country,” the Jerusalem Post said. The United States should “keep up the sanctions and isolate Turkey until it changes", it said.

Turkey has recently appointed a new ambassador to Israel who is “an anti-Israel extremist” and accuses the Israeli government of “massacres and displacing people”, the Jerusalem Post said. “Turkey’s new envoy should look in the mirror … While Israel is a state of diversity and tolerance, Turkey is a state of prisons.”

Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador and recalled its own envoy in May 2018 over Israeli attacks on the Palestinian enclave of Gaza and the United States’ decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. Turkey has also fostered relations with Hamas, a group fighting against Israel and designated as a terrorist organisation by the West.

However, there are now reports that Ankara wants to reconcile with Israel and has appointed Ufuk Ulutaş, chairman for the Centre for Strategic Research at the Turkish Foreign Ministry and a political appointee who studied Hebrew and Middle Eastern politics at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, as its new ambassador to the country.