Commenting on the Turkish government's recently toughened stance against Israel with a series of sanctions over last year's flotilla incident, opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli has said recent developments show the government's zero problems policy with neighbors “has gone bankrupt.”
Bahçeli on Tuesday released a written statement on worsening Turkish-Israeli ties. Accusing the government of showing “a fake enmity towards Israel,” Bahçeli alleged that the government was trying to keep a recent deal to establish a NATO radar system in Turkey off the agenda by assuming a “fake anti-Israeli stance.” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs last Friday announced that an early warning radar system will be deployed in Turkey within the NATO missile defense program aimed at countering ballistic missile threats.
Israeli-Turkish relations, which have been worsening since last year's flotilla incident, almost collapsed after Turkey swiftly decided to downgrade its diplomatic relations with Israel and put all military agreements on hold following the release of the UN report last week, which revealed that the UN considers the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza legal and also deems the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara aid ship to have resulted in the “unreasonable killing” of civilians.
“It becomes clearer day by day that the [Justice and Development Party] AKP mentality, which is failing to get its proposals accepted in the international arena, is resorting to fake enmity with Israel in order to maintain support in domestic politics and to prevent debates over the missile shield project. If the AKP is playing the Israel card to gloss over the missile shield issue and to change the agenda, this plan will be soon exposed and it will pay the price for that,” Bahçeli said.
Bahçeli added that it is unacceptable for the AK Party to drag Turkey into “the midst of the storm.” “We see the fact that Turkey has become a country having problems with all its neighbors rather than a country with zero problems with its neighbors as obvious proof that the government's foreign policies have gone bankrupt,” he said.