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October 4, 2012 10:28 am

Height of Hypocrisy: Turkey Orders Military Action in Syria

avatar by Dovid Efune

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey storms out of a World Economic Forum session after haranguing Israel's President Shimon Peres. Photo: WEF.

This morning, Turkey’s Parliament ratified military action in Syria in response to a mortar attack from the war torn country which killed Turkish civilians. The New York Times reports:

Turkey’s Parliament approved a motion Thursday that authorizes further military action against Syria, as Turkey began its second day of shelling targets within Syria in response to a mortar attack that killed five civilians.

CNN has more, quoting a statement from Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s office:

“Our armed forces on the border responded immediately to this atrocious attack within the rules of engagement, and points in Syria determined by radar were hit with artillery fire,” it said. “Turkey, within the confines of the rules of engagement and international law, will never leave these types of provocations aimed at our national security unanswered.”

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But Erdogan’s comments directed towards Israel, after the Jewish state responded to  a very similar situation, albeit on a larger scale, betray an unparalleled and gross hypocrisy. After over 2700 Qassam rockets were fired into Israel by Gaza terrorists, within a two year period between 2005 and 2007, prompting Israel to launch Operation Cast Lead in defense of its citizens, the Turkish Premier’s reaction was very different to what we have seen today. During a panel discussion at the World Economic Forum, he attacked Israeli President Shimon Peres, as reported by Haaretz:

In Davos, Peres and Erdogan engaged in a lengthy debate about the Gaza operation, during which both men raised their voices and shouted – highly unusual behavior at this elite gathering. “You are killing people,” Erdogan told Peres at one point……

“…I find it very sad that people applaud what you said. There have been many people killed. And I think that it is very wrong and it is not humanitarian.”

Earlier this year Erdogan was even more direct in his criticism of Israel’s self defense. Here is a March 13th report from Haaretz:

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan severely criticized Israel’s recent airstrikes against targets in the Gaza Strip, saying in a speech on Tuesday that the attacks represented a “massacre” of the coastal enclave’s residents.

Nearly 200 rockets have exploded in Israeli territory since the latest round of violence between Israel and Gaza broke out on Friday and until the Israel Defense Forces and Gaza militants agreed to cease fire that went into effect early Tuesday.

Responding to rocket fire, the Israel Air Force carried out 37 airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, 19 strikes targeted rocket-launchers and 18 targeted weapons warehouses in response to rocket attacks.

He also referred to Israel’s actions as “state terror.”

Today, Shimon Peres’ response to Erdogan at Davos, as reported by The New York Times back in 2009, rings prophetic as the Turkish military pounds targets inside Syria.

Mr. Peres pointed at the departing Mr. Erdogan and said Turkey would have reacted the same way had rockets been falling on Istanbul, participants said.

Perhaps next time Israel is forced to take military action in defense of its communities Mr. Erdogan will stay his forked tongue.

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