Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Photo: AFP
Opposition Leader Kamal Kilicdaroglu
Photo: AFP
Mavi Marmara prepares for June flotilla
Photo: AP

Israel becomes pawn in Turkish political race

Ankara's election campaign heats up, as PM Erdogan, Opposition Leader Kilicdaroglu play the flotilla blame game

Israel has become something of a political battering ram between the rivals taking part in the nearing general elections in Turkey.


Both Current Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Opposition Leader Kamal Kilicdaroglu seem to have made it a point of using the tensions between Israel and Turkey in their campaigns, and both are focusing on the Gaza flotilla.



Erdogan has blamed Kilicdaroglu for not criticizing Israel enough for its "crimes" last May; to which the opposition leader retorted by wondering why Erdogan remained silent when the US "invaded Iraq and committed crimes against civilians."


Kilicdaroglu also rebuked his political rival for the free hand he gave the organizers of the 2010 Gaza flotilla, further hinting that the prime minister was aware of the Marmara's passengers' violent intentions, which is why he called on his associates to refrain from taking part in the sail.


"Why did you prevent MPs from your party from taking part in the sail? Had we never sent the Marmara to Israel, we could have avoided the deterioration in the relations between the two countries," Kilicdaroglu said,

Turkish opposition rallies (Photo: Reuters)


Erdogan, on his part, claimed that Kilicdaroglu was "trying to get on Israel's good side every chance he gets, and is now reaping the rewards."


Ankara's PM further spoke in favor of the Gaza sail, "Which brought food and toys to Gaza's children"; and further dared his political opponent to "criticize the Mediterranean pirates, instead of being a sycophant."



פרסום ראשון: 06.05.11, 21:20
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