Turkish FM Davutoglu, Turkish-Italian Forum_311.
(photo credit: Reuters/Murad Sezer)
Turkey's Middle East foreign policy has pushed an "isolated" Israel to "kneel down" before
the Turkish Republic, Turkish Foreign
Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Thursday according to Turkish daily Zaman.
to the Turkish report, Davutoglu was responding to claims by the
opposition in that country that Ankara has shifted its policy towards
the East, despite its dependency on Western countries.
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Davutoglu struck back, saying that the country acts independently in the face of regional upheavals and dictatorships.
He said it was Turkish foreign policy which forces Israel to "kneel down" before Turkey.
"We have always sided with people who demand democracy," Davutoglu said,
adding that Ankara does not support oppressive regimes.
Tensions between Turkey and Israel hit a low when Israel refused to
apologize for the deaths of nine Turkish activists when IDF soldiers intercepted a ship bound
to break the naval blockade on Gaza.
Turkish Prime Minister
Recep Tayyip Erdogan sought to portray Turkey as a model for emerging
Arab democracies, and often used anti-Israel rhetoric in his campaign of
Middle Eastern countries.
The Turkish foreign minister told the Turkish parliament Thursday that Ankara was determined to press ahead
with a "zero problems with neighbors" policy, according to the report.
That policy refers to open economic and cultural exchange with countries
neighboring Turkey. For example, Ankara abolished necessary visas for
Syrians boosting economic activity between the countries, and a steady flow of civilians across their shared borders.
Diplomatic relations with Damascus have since collapsed since Turkey has
called for Syrian President Bashar Assad to go in light of a bloody
nine-month government crackdown on anti-regime protests, throwing
support behind Syrian opposition groups.