Turkey's Radical Drift

(Wall Street Journal) Editorial - The more facts that come to light about the flotilla, its passengers and their sponsors, the more it seems clear that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Ergodan's government, far more so than Israel's, must be held to account for Monday's violent episode. The Turkish accounting should begin with a full explanation from the government of its relationship with the IHH, an Istanbul-based Islamic "charity" that purchased three of the six boats used in the flotilla from the city government, sent hundreds of its activists along with it, and reportedly has ties to Turkey's ruling Islamist AKP Party. The IHH has widely reported links to Hamas, the terrorist group that runs Gaza and most directly threatens Israel. No wonder that Israel was not prepared to let this flotilla break its blockade of Gaza. For all his denunciations of Israel's alleged brutality in Monday's raid, Erdogan was among the first foreign leaders to congratulate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for his "victory" in last year's presidential election. He's also had no trouble getting close to Syria's Bashar al-Assad, despite the UN's investigation into Syria's role in the 2005 assassination of Lebanese premier Rafik Hariri. So much, then, for the notion that Jerusalem has needlessly junked its friendship with Ankara. That "friendship" had already been degraded by a Turkish government that appears to have an ingrained hostility toward the Jewish state, remarkable sympathies for nearby radical regimes, and an attitude toward extremist groups like the IHH that borders on complicity.

2010-06-04 10:01:04

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