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Miscalculations and the Lack of Depth: Capabilities are Different than Aspirations

Reader comment on item: "Free Gaza" Flotilla Defeats the Israel Defense Forces

Submitted by Mehmet Gurses (United States), Jun 2, 2010 at 11:51

Dear Dr Pipes,

I, like many others, have been carefully watching what has happened in recent days. In some of the news analysis that I watched on CNN and later on FOX news channels, I have to admit that I was surprised by the lack of understanding about what is going on.

The lack of understanding and the level of ignorance about the Middle East can be, as it has been so far, very detrimental to the USA and Israeli interests. What we have been watching and hearing from the so-called experts on the issue is sadly nothing more than the magazine side of the issue. The analyses are far from tackling with the shifting dynamics in Turkey. Turkey has been trying to re-claim its past; the event is simply a consequence of this new shift in its policy.

It would be a mistake explain the event and the AKP's behavior with the rise of a purely Islamist Turkey. I believe it is much more complicated than just being an Islamist government. The same AKP has been quiet (if not happy) about what the Iranian government is doing to the Kurds. Unless one argues that the Kurds are less Muslim than the Arabs who live in Gaza. What might come out of this movement is nothing more than a Turkish-nationalists-Islamist movement, which could prove to be quite dangerous.

That said, the power of AKP and its unofficial supporters tend be exaggerated among the Western observers. Realities and capabilities are different than aspirations. What the AKP government has started (engaging the Middle East and esp. to Arab-Israeli conflict) can be quite damaging to AKP in the short and medium term. The issue can turn into a tool among the domestic contenders of power; yet the outcome may not necessarily be what the AKP would like to see.

Sincerely,

Mehmet Gurses

Florida Atlantic University

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

I agree, the story here is not Israel or the Palestinians, it's the AKP. My column next week takes up this topic.

And your implicit reference to the foreign minister. Ahmet Davuto─člu, as well as the point about the Kurds are well taken.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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