Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a good orator. When he addresses crowds, his eloquence can mesmerize them with carefully chosen words and phrases that appeal to their sentiments. He is also a good reciter of the Qur’an. These qualities have endeared him to the Muslim masses not only in Turkey but also worldwide.
He sees himself as a modern-day Sultan in the footsteps of Ertugrul Ghazi. The drama series running into hundreds of episodes are extremely enjoyable to watch. Their aim was to boost Turkish nationalism. Many Muslims worldwide also see Erdogan as the ‘leader’ of the ‘Sunni’ world!
His rhetoric and recital skills apart, when one considers his stand on the Israeli genocide in Gaza, the situation gets somewhat complicated. If sharp rhetoric could stop the Israeli genocide, Erdogan would have solved the problem by now. Alas, there is a wide gap between his rhetoric and actions.
Erdogan also ordered Turkish officials to boycott this year’s World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos over Israel’s genocidal war in Gaza. Who can forget his walking out of a panel discussion with then Israeli prime minister Shimon Peres at Davos in 2009 whom he described as the “killer of Palestinians” and guilty of war crimes.
He returned home to a hero’s welcome. His stock in the rest of the Muslim world also soared. He was hailed as a great leader who can stand up to the zionists and would help liberate Palestine and Masjid al Aqsa from their evil clutches. His recent rhetoric has elevated his position even further. Based on such rhetoric, few can question his championing of the Palestinian cause.
How does his rhetoric match with his actions? Let us examine the practical steps he has taken. Erdogan recalled Turkiye’s ambassador from Tel Aviv on November 3 and even declared: “Netanyahu is no longer someone we can talk to. We have written him off.” He did not, however, cut off diplomatic ties with the genocidal zionist regime.
It is interesting to note that non-Muslim Bolivia in South America severed ties with Israel. To be fair to Erdogan, none of the Arab regimes has cut off diplomatic ties with the zionist entity either even if they too have recalled their ambassadors.
We must, however, look for some tangible action by Erdogan to add substance to his soaring rhetoric. Has Turkiye cut off trade links with the zionist entity while the genocide is underway in Gaza? Perish the thought. Instead, trade between Ankara and Tel Aviv has increased.
Figures speak for themselves. Between November and December 2023, Turkish exports to Israel increased by 34.8 percent from $319.5 million to $430.6 million. Yes, you read that correctly. These figures even exceed the pre-conflict level of $408.3 million.
And then there is Turkiye’s oil supply to Israel. The Ansarallah in Yemen are blocking Israeli-owned ships or the ships of other countries that are delivering goods to Israel. Erdogan, however, is quite happy supplying oil and steel to his zionist friends and allies. These enable Israeli tanks and bulldozers to continue to crush Palestinians to death.
At the summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) last November, Iranian President Ibrahim Raiesi had made an impassioned plea to halt oil and food exports to Israel in solidarity with the Palestinians. He also called on Arab states to stop Israeli planes from flying over their air space.
Unfortunately, the Arab states did not endorse these proposals. One wonders what kind of ‘cooperation’ does this organization promote? The name, ‘Organization of Islamic Cooperation’ is a misnomer. It is neither Islamic nor is there any cooperation, especially with the oppressed Palestinian people facing a genocide perpetrated by the zionist thug and war criminal Netanyahu and his equally criminal allies. Turkiye’s Erdogan belongs to the same league as the pathetic bunch of Arab rulers.
It has now been revealed that Erdogan is not only supplying goods to Israel, the shipping companies that deliver such goods have close links with his son Burak and other members of his AKP party. This exposure has rattled the Turkish president who lodged an appeal in court to block the spread of such news.
These damning revelations were made by Turkish journalist Metin Cihan through his X/Twitter account (@metcihan) with the hashtag “Stop the shipment to Israel.” Cihan took the data from the Marine Traffic website, listing the ships that have sailed from Turkiye to Israel since October 7. He even listed the companies involved in such trade. Many of them have links to Erdogan’s son or other members of his party.
It is not difficult to surmise why Erdogan would be so rattled by these revelations. Municipal elections are due in March. His aim is to regain control of the two most important cities—Istanbul and Ankara—that his party lost in the last election. The Palestinians are on their own as far as Israel’s ongoing genocide is concerned.
Not surprisingly, the Palestinians have said, Erdogan’s rhetoric is for us, but his goods are for Israel!