Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu granted the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan a face-saver for ending their three-year rift out of willingness to crown US President Barack Obama’s three-day visit with an impressive diplomatic breakthrough. He swallowed Israel and its army’s pride and, at the airport, with Obama looking on, picked up the phone to Erdogan and apologized for the killing by Israeli soldiers of nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists in 2010 aboard the Mavi Marmara, which was leading a flotilla bound on busting the Israeli blockade of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
The crowing comment by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu – “Turkey’s basic demands have been met; we got what we wanted” – was out of place, spiteful and ill-mannered.
He knows perfectly well that for the past year, amid a constant stream of ranting abuse from Ankara, Israel has been quietly responding to Turkey’s desperate need for cooperation in four essential fields, which are disclosed here by DEBKAfile:
1. The Turkish armed forces are heavily dependent on Israeli military technologies from the long years of the close alliance between the two countries, which Ankara cut short. This dependence applies most particularly to its drones, the backbone of today’s modern armies. It is also holding up the huge transaction for the sale of American Boeing Awacs electronic warning airplanes to Turkey.