Turkish PM leaves stage during debate with Peres over Gaza

Discussion in 'Israel and Palestine' started by toomuchtime_, Jan 29, 2009.

  1. toomuchtime_
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    toomuchtime_ Gold Member

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    Israeli-Turkish relations took a dramatic turn for the worse in Davos Thursday night when Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stormed red-faced off the stage at the World Economic Forum after sparring with President Shimon Peres over the fighting in Gaza.

    Erdogan was angry over being cut off by a panel moderator after listening to an impassioned monologue by Peres defending Operation Cast Lead.

    Peres's defense was prompted by harsh criticism leveled at Israel not only by Erdogan, but also by the two other panelists, Arab League head Amr Moussa and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

    "You are killing people," Erdogan declared to Peres.

    However, a finger-pointing Peres told Erdogan that he would have done the same if rockets had been hitting Istanbul.

    "Do you understand the meaning of a situation where hundreds of rockets are falling a day on women and children who cannot sleep quietly, who need to sleep in shelters? What is the matter with you? You don't understand, and I am not prepared for lies."

    Peres's comments were met by hearty applause, which apparently irritated the Turkish prime minister.

    Erdogan asked the moderator, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, to let him speak once more.

    "Only a minute," Ignatius replied.

    Speaking in Turkish, Erdogan said, "I remember two former prime ministers in your country who said they felt very happy when they were able to enter Palestine on tanks. I find it very sad that people applaud what you said. There have been many people killed. And I think that it is very wrong and it's not humanitarian."

    "We can't start the debate again. We just don't have time," Ignatius said.

    "Please let me finish," Erdogan said.

    However, Ignatius responded, "We really do need to get people to dinner."

    The Turkish premier then said, "Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. I don't think I will come back to Davos after this."

    The confrontation saw Peres and Erdogan raise their voices - highly unusual at the elite gathering of corporate and world leaders, which is usually marked by learned consensus-seeking and polite dialogue.

    The packed audience at the Erdogan and Peres session, which included US President Barack Obama's close adviser Valerie Jarrett, appeared stunned.

    Afterward, forum founder Klaus Schwab huddled with Erdogan in a corner of the Congress Center.

    "I have known Shimon Peres for many years and I also know Erdogan. I have never seen Shimon Peres so passionate as he was today. I think he felt Israel was being attacked by so many in the international community. He felt isolated," said former Norwegian prime minister Kjell Magne Bondevik.

    "I was very sad that Erdogan left. This was an expression of how difficult this situation is," he added.

    Moussa, the former Egyptian foreign minister, said Erdogan's actions were understandable.

    "Mr. Erdogan said what he wanted to say, and then he left. That's all. He was right," Moussa said.

    Of Israel, he said, "They don't listen."

    Erdogan brushed past reporters outside the hall. His wife appeared upset.

    "All Peres said was a lie. It was unacceptable," she said, eyes glistening.

    The unpleasant incident came at a meeting that both Israeli and Turkish diplomatic officials thought could help improve relations between the two countries - relations that have soured considerably due to Erdogan's extremely harsh criticism since the start of Operation Cast Lead.

    "Erdogan's actions in Davos show that he doesn't want to miss an opportunity to further harm Turkish-Israeli relations," sources in Jerusalem said in response to the incident. The sources said that Erdogan's behavior on the Davos stage obviously would not help Turkey's attempts to be seen in Europe as a rational and constructive actor on the international stage.

    "Israel's strategic relationship with Turkey is important to us, but it is no less important to Turkey," the official said. "Erdogan is harming his own interests."

    The official said that Israel was growing increasingly "tired" of Erdogan's tirades, and was unlikely to make any more efforts to "chase after the Turks."

    The official dismissed as no longer valid the argument that Erdogan's diatribes - he has called for Israel to be barred from the UN and said its actions were inhuman and would bring it to self-destruction - were the result of domestic considerations, and that he was playing to his strong Islamic base before the Turkish municipal elections in March.

    The incident came even as Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan appeared over the last couple of days to be tempering Turkish rhetoric and taking a more conciliatory approach. On Wednesday he called on Hamas to abandon violence.

    The Foreign Ministry had no response to the incident, an apparent indication that it did not want to exacerbate the situation.

    Turkish PM leaves stage during debate with Peres over Gaza | International | Jerusalem Post
     
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  2. DavidS
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    DavidS Anti-Tea Party Member

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    A LIE??? WE DON'T LISTEN?

    Turkey brutally responds to any incursion by Kurds from Northern Iraq when they fire a few shells into Turkey. And Turkey condemns Israel's response when 10,000 rockets and shells have fallen into Israel???? AND WE DON'T LISTEN???

    Is this man insane?
     
  3. ekrem
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    ekrem VIP Member

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    The point is this:
    Ban-Ki-Moon talked 8 minutes
    Amr-Musa talked 12 minutes
    Erdogan talked 12 minutes.

    Peres talked 25 minutes, for pretty much the entire speech, raised his voice loud, looked and pointed at Erdogan. In such style Peres can talk to leaders whose country is inferior to Israel in all fields. Not to Turkey.
    Off course our Prime MInister wanted again the word to answer Peres. The moderator David Ignatius from Washington Post, hisself a Jew, bitched around and regularily intervened Erdogan in word and physically with his hand, so as a moderator taking sides with Peres. At the end of the day, that reporter is noone against a Politician representing 72 Million people. Touching of such a person is a no-go.

    Peres will today hold a press-conference regarding this issue. Right after the incident in Davos, Peres called Erdogan and apologized for his loud voice.
    So it reports official news agency of Turkey, and Peres will stick his press conference in this regard.

    "(...) I have to protect the honour of Turkey and Turkish people," said Mr Erdogan. "I am not a chief of a tribe. I am the prime minister of Turkey. I have to do what I have to do."
    BBC NEWS | Business | Davos 2009 | Turkish PM given hero's welcome

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  4. mightypeon
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    mightypeon Active Member

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    I am actually with Erdogan here, there is much more to the situation than "evil Palestinians firing rockets" (what was that about the Tunnel raid BEFORE the rockets?), and you dont do this kind of gestures to the head of a medium power like Turkey.
    Actually you dont do this gestures to ANY head of state (that is what is called diplomatically correct behavior). You could do that to the Prime Minister of Fidschi if you really want to, but to the Turkish PM?
    You know, PMs represent their country and have to care a lot about their prestige, the incident could also be read as a calculated insult.

    Alltogether, Epic Fail, let the next debate be hosted by a Diplomat.
     
  5. Munin
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    Munin VIP Member

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    I think Peres had a point: when Turkey invades another country (Iraq) to kill Kurds that do terrorist attacks (not even rockets) in Turkey and Israel invades Gaza (wich isn't even a country or part of one, it is an undefined piece of land) because Israeli cities are being bombarded.

    The only reason Turkey acts like this is because of elections and because of his religious muslim voters, he knows that he would have done the same as Israel did because he also did it in the past for attacks that weren't even as threatening as the ones that threatened Israel recently ( Dozens die in Turkish invasion of Iraq - Telegraph )

    What I don't understand though is what he said afterwards: that he was defending the honor of Turkey. Turkey doesn't have any stake in the Gaza conflict and it is Erdogan who is insulting Israel as far as I can tell. The only one that could be defending the honor of his country is Israeli president Peres.
     
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    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009
  6. ekrem
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    ekrem VIP Member

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    When Turkey invaded North-Iraq no civilian was murdered. Check your facts.
    Gaza is an area 40 Kilometers of length and 1 million people. Where Turkey invaded was mountaineous area without civilian population where Terrorist bases reside.
     
  7. Munin
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    Munin VIP Member

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    Well if it was an area like Gaza that lied next to it instead of a mountaineous area, then I don't doubt for a second that Turkey would have done it too. The issue is that Turkey invaded Iraq for reasons that were much less threatening to Turkey then the reasons Israel had for invading Gaza. Who are they to judge when they attacked a region in another country for much smaller reasons?

    And you should check your sources, the Turkish army is not a reliable source when it comes to civilian casualties.


    Turkey bombed villages, not only separated rebels hiding in mountains.



    http://www.usmessageboard.com/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=1018524

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/10/25/2069611.htm

    http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/turkey-bombs-northern-iraq/2007/12/17/1197740129088.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009
  8. ekrem
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    ekrem VIP Member

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    If this thread should move to a thread where seperate issues are connected, you have to evaluate then, why Turkey can make such moves allthough USA does not want such moves being made. Finally, we bomb and invade North-Iraq despite USA. Israel does what it does with the backing by USA.

    You will see the difference, when you answer yourself the above questions.
    We stand here on our own feet, and our feet are the biggest shoe-size.
    We may be a "middle power" like someone said in this thread, but that categorization may apply in WORLD context. Here, in this region, where our feet stand this categorization means shit. Here we are the "I can anytime step a foot into your comfort zone"-Turkey.
     
  9. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    Great...Israel alienates still another potential ally.

    But hey, on the bright side, at least it won the debate!
     
  10. Munin
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    Munin VIP Member

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    First of all Turkey was backed by the US ( Global Politician - The Kurdish-American Honeymoon Has Ended ), secondly Turkey and Israel are allies.

    You normally don't "insult" your ally on actions it does to defend itself, that is a perfectly good point Peres has made. Israel didn't "insult" Turkey on its actions it did in Iraq. The only reason Turkey had to be angry was its negotiating position that was damaged because of the Israeli invasion in Gaza (but Israel even informed Turkey before it started with the invasion).
    Erdogan uses Israel for his personal election, he did not have any other reason because Turkey is Israel's biggest military ally in the region. And Turkey needs Israel as much as Israel needs Turkey for its own interests.
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2009

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