Official: Turkish tirades reveal 'brazen hypocrisy'

Israeli official says Turkey's leaders have become “laughingstock of the international community with their self-righteous discourse.”

February 5, 2013 04:24
2 minute read.
Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Greece

Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu 370. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Turkey’s leaders have become the “laughingstock of the international community with their self-righteous discourse,” an Israeli official said on Monday in response to yet another anti- Israel tirade by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

Turkey’s anti-Israel bashing continued unabated for a third-straight day on Monday, with Davutoglu thrashing Israel for its settlements policy and declaring that Israel was now a “pariah state.”

The Turkish foreign minister, addressing a ministerial meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Cairo, said that “Israel has now been rendered by the international community a ‘pariah’ status for its expanding illegal settlements.”

Referring to the recent United Nations Human Rights Council report calling on Israel to evacuate all settlements, Davutoglu said, “Time and again Israel has proven that it fails to read the change happening not only around it, but also in the way its actions are perceived by the international community.”

The Israeli official dismissed the Turkish foreign minister’s comments as “brazen hypocrisy.”

“It is rather quaint to be lectured about settlements from the representative of a country which has ethnically cleansed the northern part of Cyprus and illegally settled 200,000 Turks in that territory,” he said.

The recent high-profile spate of Turkish Israel-bashing began Saturday with Davutoglu publicly chiding Syria for not responding to Israel’s purported operation in Syria, and Erdogan on Sunday saying Israel has “a mentality of waging state terrorism.”

“Turkey’s double standard” has reached new heights, the Israeli official said of the Turkish condemnation, noting that Ankara has repeatedly carried out military action in Iraqi and Syrian territory, is involved in the continued occupation of Cyprus and is “brutally muzzling journalists who dare to displease the powers that be.”

Iran, meanwhile, ratcheted up its bellicose rhetoric following the alleged action in Syria, saying Israel would rue its air strikes.

“They will regret this recent aggression,” Saeed Jalili, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, told a news conference in Damascus a day after holding talks there with President Bashar Assad.

One Israeli official in the Prime Minister’s Office responded to the threats by saying that Israel had no illusions “about Iranian hostile intentions, and they don’t need an excuse to target Israel.”

Jalili likened Israel’s attack to previous conflicts, including the 34-day Second Lebanon War in 2006, all battles that he said Israel had lived to regret.

“Today, too, both the people and the government of Syria are serious regarding the issue. And also the Islamic community is supporting Syria,” he said.

Jalili said Iran, in its current role as head of the Non- Aligned Movement, would work on Syria’s behalf on the international stage in response to the attack.

The New York Times on Monday, citing American officials sorting through intelligence reports, said SA-17 Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles and their launchers on transport trucks were hit in Wednesday’s raid, as well as the country’s main research center for work on chemical and biological weapons.

The center, the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center, is – according to the report – a training site for engineers working on chemical and biological weapons and is part of a military complex protected by Russian anti-aircraft defense systems.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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