On Tuesday, I posted here about how Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was being two-faced in his dealings with Benjamin Netanyahu after the latter’s apology for the loss of life in the raid on the Mavi Marmara. The reason for the apology—part of a deal brokered by President Obama—was to allow Turkey and Israel to reconcile and renew their partnership.
Turkey appears to have violated that deal by seeking referral of the case to the International Criminal Court, litigation which Obama and Netanyahu understood Erdoğan would not support once he had his apology. Just as Erdoğan sought plausible deniability when he first invited Hamas to Ankara, telling Western officials that the invitation came from his political party (AKP) and not from the state, so too does the referral to the ICC come from a familiar proxy: a law firm where one principal has been a long-time AKP party activist and the other has been intimately involved in the IHH, the pro-Hamas organization that sponsored the Mavi Marmara. The proxy issue goes farther, of course, as the AKP had provided the ship to the IHH in the first place.
Anyone who believes that Erdoğan seeks to bury that hatchet more than rub salt into the wounds of the last two years needs only to consider the special guest whom he has had join his delegation. According to Hürriyet Daily News:
The father of a victim of the deadly Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla in 2010 is accompanying Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on his US visit that kicked off on May 15… [Ahmet] Doğan said that he had written a letter to Obama requesting a meeting but Erdoğan had asked him to join the delegation. “I met with [Erdoğan] in Ankara before his departure to Washington. He said that he could give the letter to the U.S. President but that it would be better if I gave it him in person. So he asked me to join the delegation,” Doğan said….
It is actually quite amazing: Erdoğan has endorsed an Al Qaeda financier, embraced not only Hamas but the most militant faction within that terrorist organization, defended the Sudanese leader against charges of genocide, and has been the largest leak in multilateral efforts to sanction Iran. And yet, Obama will not only welcome him to the White House with the highest honors, but help fulfill the Turkish premier’s blatant desire to use the White House as the backdrop to follow through on his pledge to bash Israel at every opportunity.