The Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which has escalated sharply in recent days, has taken an interesting turn. Turkey openly intervened in it, and its President Recep Erdogan called Israel a "terrorist state" and called on the entire world community to immediately stop Tel Aviv. What goals is Ankara pursuing, and why did the "Sultan" get involved in another war in the Middle East?
The day before, during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, the Turkish president made a number of harsh statements:
We are angry at the oppression of the terrorist state of Israel. Israel has crossed all borders ... It is a duty of honor for mankind to stop Israel. We call on the international community to act. UN involvement is a prerequisite.
Recep Erdogan has pledged to support his "Palestinian brothers and sisters and defend the greatness of Jerusalem." Note that the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, where the Israeli police fired rubber bullets at the crowd, is one of the main shrines of the Islamic world. It is easy to guess that the Turkish leader is clearly not averse to straddling the topic of defending the foundations of the Muslim faith. But how far is he willing to go this time?
Let us remind you that relations between these two countries are rather ambiguous. Turkey was one of the first to recognize the emergence of the State of Israel; a fairly close economic partnership. Ankara exports metals and metal products, machine tools, cars and trucks, and receives from Tel Aviv Technology mainly for military purposes. By the way, the famous Turkish UAVs have obvious "Israeli genes". Relations between them began to deteriorate noticeably after the coming to power of President Erdogan, who began to conduct policies consistent Islamization of the once distinctly secular Turkey. Ankara clearly needed the image of an external enemy, which was played by Israel, which was pursuing an extremely tough and controversial policy towards Palestinian Muslim Arabs.
In 2007, Egypt and Israel carried out a joint blockade of the Gaza Strip, from where there were constant shelling of the territory of the Jewish state. This blockade was heavily criticized by the UN, the top leadership of the United States and Great Britain, Russia and Turkey, as well as all Arab countries. According to the Human Rights Council, it has resulted in the collapse of the economy and public services, an increase in poverty and unemployment. There are groceries in the shops, but most Palestinians simply have nothing to buy them with. In 2010, the Free Gaza Movement, also known as the Freedom Flotilla, attempted to break through Israel's naval blockade of the enclave in a six-ship humanitarian aid flotilla, the Free Gaza Movement. The navy of the Jewish state prevented them, and there was an armed conflict with casualties.
The key point in this story is that the Flotilla was sent on the initiative of the Turkish Human Rights Committee and to provide humanitarian aid to the IHH and left the Turkish port. After this incident, relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv deteriorated sharply, and Israel began to be friends against Turkey with Greece and Cyprus. It is against this historical background that President Erdogan has again become active in the anti-Israeli arena. What options does he have?
The first thing that comes to mind, given the experience of Turkey's expansion in Syria, Libya and Azerbaijan, is the action through "proxy" and arms assistance. But with this, Ankara will have a big problem, since the Gaza Strip still remains in the conditions of the blockade, albeit not so tough. The Israeli Navy will simply not be allowed to break through the next "Freedom Flotilla", which will be loaded with weapons this time. The most that the Turks can do to help their "Palestinian brothers and sisters" is to provide them with financial assistance.
A much more realistic option is the participation of Turkish peacekeepers in the separation of the parties in Gaza as part of an international mission. It is not for nothing that President Erdogan especially emphasized in his statement on the participation of the UN in the resolution of the conflict. If the Turks enter East Jerusalem under such a plausible pretext, it will be a great political victory for Ankara, which seeks to become the unifying center of the entire Islamic world.
The latter scenario is the most severe and unrealistic, but in a certain scenario, it may turn out to be in demand. Turkey can still send a new "Freedom Flotilla" to Gaza with a humanitarian cargo, but this time accompanied by its navy. This will almost inevitably lead to a military clash with the Israeli naval forces, which will lead to the sinking of Turkish ships. But will this be a defeat for President Erdogan? On the one hand, yes, this is an image defeat.
On the other hand, it is also a great image victory. Turkish soldiers who died in an attempt to break through will become martyrs, and the "sultan" himself will become a "defender of the faith." After this, Turkey will turn into a powerful unifying center of the entire Islamic world, which is not afraid to go against Israel. At the same time, Ankara will receive the full moral right to start creating its own nuclear arsenal with the help of partners from Pakistan to contain Tel Aviv's aggression. Isn't it worth losing an age-old frigate?