Turkey Seen Now as More Part of the Problem than the Solution

(The National-Abu Dhabi) Michael Young - The Turks have sought to ride the wave of Ankara's popularity in the Middle East - primarily a result of its rift with Israel and vocal support for the Palestinian cause. For nearly a century Turkey has focused on Europe. Ankara's renewed attention southwards poses a challenge to Arab states and Iran, which are little prepared to make room for what can come across as an overbearing Turkish government with a tendency to overplay its hand. Turkish spokesmen erred in announcing before his Egypt trip that Erdogan might enter Gaza. Neither Egypt nor Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas relished such a prospect, and ultimately the Turkish prime minister backtracked. Erdogan's ability to exploit regional transformations has been neutralized by his outspokenness. Today, Israeli ill-feeling against Erdogan, the Palestinian leadership's refusal to see their position undercut by the prime minister's demagogical instincts, and international recognition that Turkey is now more a part of the problem than the solution, have effectively sidelined Ankara.

2011-10-06 00:00:00

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