Turkish PM lashes out at Israel for threatening peace in the region
By Selcan Hacaoglu
January 12 2010
ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s prime minister accused Israel on Monday of threatening peace in the region and using disproportionate force against Palestinians.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Israel to stop violating Lebanon’s airspace and territorial waters. He also called on the U.N. Security Council to put the same pressure on Israel regarding nuclear arms as it does on Iran.
“We can never remain silent in the face of Israel’s attitude. … It has disproportionate power and it is using that at will while refusing to abide by U.N. resolutions. We can never accept this picture,” Erdogan said. “These steps threaten global peace.”
He spoke a joint news conference with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Hariri described Israel as an enemy that threatens Lebanon’s security.
“Today, Israel continues its violation of our airspace and waters,” Hariri said.
Erdogan promised to support Lebanon’s case against Israel at the United Nations. Turkey is a temporary member of the Security Council.
Discussing the possibility of war to make Iran drop its nuclear program, Erdogan said, “The region cannot accept a new Iraq syndrome.” Turkey has long defended Iran’s right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful use.
“Those who are warning Iran over nuclear weapons are not making the same warnings to Israel,” Erdogan said. “Five permanent members of the Security Council must be just. Israel has not denied the existence of its nuclear arsenal; on the contrary it has admitted it.”
Erdogan also criticized Israel for an airstrike in Gaza on Sunday.
“What is your excuse this time?” he asked.
On Sunday, three members of the militant group Islamic Jihad were killed in an Israeli strike.
Cross-border exchanges have escalated in recent days. The Israeli military said there have been 15 rocket attacks from Gaza this month, compared to eight in December. No Israeli casualties have been reported.
Erdogan accused Israel of using of white phosphorus shells in its offensive in Gaza last year. “No one can claim that phosphorus shells are not weapons of mass destruction,” he said.
Turkey’s ties with Israel have been strained by Erdogan’s frequent criticism of the Jewish state’s use of force against Palestinians, as well as during the 2006 war against Hezbollah forces in Lebanon.
On Monday, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, Danny Ayalon, summoned the Turkish ambassador for clarification over a new Turkish TV show where actors pretending to be Israeli intelligence agents kidnap children and shoot old men. A diplomatic spat occurred a few months ago between Israel and Turkey after a different Turkish show depicted Israeli troops killing Palestinian children.
Associated Press Writer Suzan Fraser in Ankara and Ian Deitch in Jerusalem contributed to this report.
Turkey, Lebanon lash out at Israel
January 12 2010
ANKARA — The prime ministers of Turkey and Lebanon on Monday lashed out at Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace and air strikes in Gaza, warning they were undermining prospects for peace in the region.
“Attacks on Lebanon is terrorism itself… We have to stand shoulder by shoulder against the enemy’s plans… We have to stop Israel,” visiting Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri told a press conference.
Lebanese anti-aircraft guns opened fire on four Israeli warplanes which were violating its airspace at low altitude on Monday, the military said.
Israel argues that the overflights are necessary to monitor what it says is massive arms smuggling by Hezbollah.
Hariri’s counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose country’s once-flourishing ties with Israel took a sharp downturn last year, said that Turkey “will never stay silent” on Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace.
He slammed the Israeli overflights as “unacceptable action that threatens global peace.”
Erdogan also questioned a deadly Israeli air raid on the Gaza Strip Sunday, which, the Israeli army said, targeted militants who were preparing attacks.
“Is the Israeli government in favour of peace or not?… Gaza was bombed again yesterday. Why?… There were no rocket attacks,” Erdogan said.
“They (the Israelis) have disproportional capabilities and power and they use them… They do not abide by UN resolutions… They say they will do what they like. We can in no way approve of such an attitude,” he said.
Israel’s ties with Turkey, a key regional ally, were poisoned by its massive offensive on Gaza last year, which prompted an unprecedented barrage of criticism from Erdogan’s Islamist-rooted government.
In October, Turkey excluded Israel from joint military drills and said ties would continue to suffer unless Israel ends “the humanitarian tragedy” in Gaza and revives peace talks with the Palestinians.
Erdogan also renewed criticism of Western powers on Monday for pressuring Iran on its nuclear activities while tolerating Israel, considered the region’s sole if undeclared nuclear power.
“We are against the development of nuclear weapons by any country in the region,” he said.
“Israel has nuclear weapons… Those who are cautioning Iran must also caution Israel,” he said, referring to the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.
“If we fail to display a fair attitude in this region, the problems will hit not only the region, but will spread elsewhere as well. The unrest of the Middle East is the unrest of the world,” he said.
Hariri hailed Turkey’s improving ties with Arab countries and increased activism in peace efforts in the Middle East.
“We hope and expect Turkey to continue playing a positive role in trying to bring peace,” he said.
The two premiers witnessed the signing of an accord on visa-free travel between their countries and other deals envisaging cooperation in the military, agriculture and transport realms.
Erdogan said Turkey would supply natural gas and electricity to help meet Lebanon’s energy needs and that the two countries planned a ferry service between their Mediterranean coasts.
Hariri was to wrap up his three-day visit Tuesday after attending a meeting of business people from the two countries in Istanbul.
Israeli security forces arrested a foreign activist in a raid in the West Bank town of Ramallah overnight, her lawyer said on Monday.
“Her visa had expired, but that’s not a reason for them to arrest her,” he said, adding that the Israeli interior ministry has no authority to operate in the Palestinian territories.
“The ministry of the interior was acting outside of the sovereign territory of Israel… They wouldn’t invade Poland to arrest someone.” Source
Israel has gone into other countries and kidnapped people.
Israel also violates Egypt’s air space as well.
Israel the walking violation.
Sanctions are needed against Israel. There needs to be an Arms embargo as well.
There will be no peace if Israel continues on this path of violating International Laws, Human rights and UN Resolutions. They violate those on a daily basis.
Israel orders new fence to keep out African migrants. Critics accuse Netanyahu of exaggerating the dangers posed by refugees
But critics of the government believe that it is contriving the threat. They note that the government itself issues visas each year to 120,000 non-Jewish migrant workers who arrive at Israel’s borders legally and that hundreds of thousands among the wave of immigrants from the former Soviet Union to reach the country during the 1990s were not Jewish.