Oct 31, 2013

Turkish Military 'Trying to Provoke an Incident' with Israelis in Mediterranean

Robert SpencerBy Robert Spencer
Jihad Watch

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As Turkey rapidly re-Islamizes, it appears to be trying to create the justification for a new jihad offensive against Israel.

Greek and Israeli warplanes

Turkish military 'trying to provoke an incident' with Israelis in Mediterranean

(World Tribune)—Turkey has been challenging Israel's military throughout the Mediterranean.

Military sources said Turkey has used its Navy and Air Force to disrupt Israeli operations around the Mediterranean. They said the Turkish Air Force and Navy harassed Israeli warplanes during patrols and exercises over the last six months.

"They are trying to provoke an incident with us that could have strategic repercussions," a source said.

The sources said the Turkish military was ordered by Prime Minister Recep Erdogan to disrupt Israeli operation near waters or air space claimed by Ankara, including those around the Republic of Cyprus. They said this has hampered recent exercises in the eastern Mediterranean with Greece, including one that took place earlier this month.

"The Turks view us as they do the Greeks, which means that the Turkish military flexes its muscles at every opportunity it gets," the source said. "In the air, Turkish warplanes are playing a game of chicken with our forces."

The sources said Ankara has been dismayed by Israel's growing military cooperation with Greece. They said the Israeli cooperation, which included military exercises, training and arms projects, replaced Turkey with Greece as a leading defense partner of the Jewish state. In November, Israel plans to host three NATO members in the largest international exercise in the country.

"Erdogan thought that Turkey could isolate Israel militarily, particularly in NATO, when the opposite has taken place," another source said. "Israel has more military exchanges than ever with individual NATO members while Ankara has been marginalized."

The sources said Israel relayed several tough messages to Erdogan to stop Turkish air and naval provocations. They said the messages, also directed through the United States, resulted in less aggressive behavior by Ankara.

Over the last three years, Turkey has severed virtually all military contact with Israel and led a boycott of all NATO cooperation with the Jewish state. The sources said Erdogan continues to employ the boycott despite Israel's agreement to apologize and compensate the families of eight Turks killed in a clash with a Turkish-sponsored flotilla that sought to reach the Gaza Strip in 2010.