It is time the West stood up to Turkey, Jerusalem Post says
Israel must work more closely with France, Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, the UAE and others to condemn Turkey’s increasingly aggressive and erratic behaviour under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Jerusalem Post said in an editorial published on Tuesday.
A former ally of Israel, Turkey under Erdoğan has become one of the region’s most anti-Israel countries, the Jerusalem Post said, hosting top Hamas terrorists, challenging Israeli allies at sea and continually utilising state-controlled media to condemn the Jewish state.
Erdoğan on Saturday hosted a large delegation of leaders from Islamist Palestinian group Hamas in Istanbul, including the group’s political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh and the group’s number two figure Saleh al-Arouri, who was designated as a terrorist by Washington and Brussels and has a $5 million bounty on his head.
Turkey is locked in disputes with both Greece and Cyprus over territorial waters in the Aegean and Mediterranean and has sent ships to drill for gas off the divided island of Cyprus to press its claim to the waters there.
Ankara has opposed the Israel pipeline deal with Greece and Cyprus, the article said, noting that the deal could have included Turkey, had the country been more willing to work with Israel.
The $6 to $7 billion pipeline project is expected initially to carry 10 billion cubic meters of gas annually from Israeli and Cypriot waters to the Greek island of Crete, from there to the Greek mainland, and into Europe’s gas network through Italy.
Meanwhile, Turkey, along with Iran, is pushing to convince countries against establishing ties with Israel, it said, a move it labelled as “fundamentally hypocritical” due to its relations with the Jewish state.
Ankara has condemned the historic normalisation agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Aug. 13, with Erdoğan announcing that Turkey would be considering closing its embassy in Abu Dhabi and suspending diplomatic ties with the UAE over the accord.
Regimes such as that of Turkey’s strongman “only respond to strength,” the Jerusalem Post said, calling on Israel’s allies to stop appeasing Ankara - a move that would only bring new threats throughout the Mediterranean.