Israeli and Turkish Flags, Tel Aviv, June 26, 2016, Reuters
During my Israel News Talk Radio interview on Tuesday, August 16, 2016, “The US-Turkish Connections,” the matter of Prime Minister Netanyahu concluding an economic /diplomatic deal with Erdogan in late June came up. It concerned the proposed payment of $20 million for compensation to those Turkish national and one Turkish American killed during an Israeli Naval Sayeret (Commando) boarding of the Turkish ferry, the Mavi Mamara, in late May 2010 Free Gaza Flotilla that had tried to run the Gaza blockade. Erdogan has continued to harbor a safe haven for Hamas military and political wing leaders. They asked why did Israel cut this deal?
In reply to “Beyond the Matrix” hosts Rod Bryant and Ira Michaelson, I mentioned the famous quote of US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles during the Eisenhower era who remarked, “The United States of America does not have friends; it has interests”. We speculated the six year dispute ripened because these two wary parties saw economic and geo-political advantages to bury the hatchet. Erdogan wants to gain a piece of the offshore gas deal for his pipeline deal to the EU market. mentioned the triple alliance deal that Netanyahu had crafted with an economic deal for exploitation of the off shore gas fields with Greece and the Republic of Cyprus that includes an alternative LNG facility and possible EU financed submarine pipeline. Perhaps, we added Israel believes that it might be able to control Turkish funding of Hamas.
Those comments may have been prescient given two news reports, The first was a Newsweek story about ‘leaked’ German Intelligence report accusing Erdogan of bankrolling Hamas and other Muslim Brotherhood groups in the Middle East, “Leaked German Report Calls Turkey ‘Platform’ For Hamas, Muslim Brotherhood, Syrian Rebel Groups.” The second was a Reuters story concerning the submission of the Israeli $20 million reparations deal for approval by the Erdogan AKP controlled Ankara parliament, “Israel to pay Turkey $20 million in compensation after six-year rift.”
The German government has accused Turkey of being a hub for Islamist groups that allows them to further their aims across the Middle East, according to a leaked confidential document.
The document, reported by German public broadcaster ARD and obtained by the Associated Press, was in a classified Interior Ministry response to a confidential question from leftist opposition party Die Linke in Germany’s Bundestag, or parliament, on August 10.
It alleges that the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan supports Palestinian militant group Hamas, Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and “groups in the armed Islamist opposition in Syria,” all of which follow Sunni Islam, the same strand as the majority of Muslim Turks.
In its response, the ministry says that the Turkish government’s “numerous statements of solidarity and supportive actions” for these three groups “underline their ideological affinity with the Muslim Brothers.”
It continued to say that “as a result of Ankara’s domestic and foreign policy that has been Islamized step-by-step above all since 2011, Turkey has developed into the central platform of action for Islamist groups in the Middle East region.”
Turkish lawmakers on Wednesday submitted to parliament a settlement deal with Israel that would see Israel pay Ankara $20 million within 25 days in return for Turkey dropping outstanding legal claims, ending a six-year rift.
Relations between the two countries crumbled after Israeli marines stormed a Turkish ship in May 2010 to enforce a naval blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, killing 10 Turks on board.
Israel had already offered its apologies for the raid. Both countries are to appoint ambassadors, and Turkey is to pass legislation indemnifying Israeli soldiers as part of an agreement partly driven by the prospect of lucrative Mediterranean gas deals.
Thanks to Rod and Ira of Israel National Talk Radio we may have scooped these latest developments reported by Newsweek, Reuters and the wire services. That still leaves the question of why Israel is poised to pay reparations to Turkey in the wake of this ‘leaked’ German intelligence reports regarding Erdogan’s support for Hamas and other Muslim Brotherhood terrorist groups?