Top Turkish officials: Rapid steps to restore Turkey-Israel ties to commence in coming days

The past few days have been good to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan. On Thursday, a domestic rival, Abbdullah Ojalan, leader of the separatist Kurds, announced a historic ceasefire, and on Friday his demands from his bitter rival Benjamin Netanyahu were conceded entirely. The precise wording of the apology, the precise phrasings that diplomats, negotiators, and presidential advisors have been laboring on for years aren’t really important. The outcome was one: Israel has apologized, and has agreed to pay compensation and take steps towards lifting the siege on Gaza.

The public enmity with Israel played well into Erdogan’s hands, who meanwhile tightened his ties with Syria’s Bashar Assad and the regime in Iran. When the uprisings of the Arab Spring unraveled, he became a hero who, despite opposing intervention in Libya – largely due to Turkey’s immense investments in the country – supported the new government there, urged Egypt’s Mubarak to resign and then quickly fostered a relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood’s regime. His shaky relationship with Jerusalem added considerable weight to his legitimacy in the Arab world, which has traditionally been suspicious of Turkey because it isn’t an Arab state and due to its close ties with Israel. Just months after the uprising began in Syria, Erdogan changed his attitude toward Assad as well. After making efforts to try and persuade Assad to carry out reforms, Erdogan realized that his personal relationship with Assad would not help him bring about changes in Syria. All of a sudden, Assad was transformed into a bitter enemy who needed to be removed, and Erdogan decided that Turkey would become a rear base for the Syrian opposition. Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey now became the new axis driving events in the Middle East, with Turkey as the anchor for American policy vis-à-vis Syria, Iraq and even Iran, with which Turkey maintains widespread commercial ties despite the sanctions, having received a partial exemption. Continue reading

On a roll: How Morsi toppled Egypt’s military elite in only one month

In only one month, Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood managed to topple a powerful military elite, something that his friend Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, took nearly a decade to do.

The ruling Muslim Brotherhood has succeeded in this by coopting Egypt’s military command.

Within weeks of assuming office, President Mohammed Morsi persuaded junior members of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces to topple Egypt’s defense minister and chief of staff.

“It [Brotherhood] was able to build strong enough links with some members of SCAF, exploiting personal differences and opportunism rather than ideology,” Hani Sabra, the analyst, said.

Full article: On a roll: How Morsi toppled Egypt’s military elite in only one month (World Tribune)