Analysis: A weakened Turkey seeks Israel’s help to break growing isolation

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Even if Israel and Turkey soon announce an end to their diplomatic crisis, which began almost six years ago as a result of the Mavi Marmara flotilla ship incident, relations between the two countries will not go back to how they once were. The golden era of cooperation in the security and intelligence fields between the two countries up until a decade ago will certainly not come back.
Turkey was a large and important market for Israel’s security industries, which provided drones, intelligence systems, tank and planes upgrades, and more. For years, there was close cooperation between the Mossad and Turkey’s intelligence agency, the MIT, which included meetings, an exchange of each countries’ situational assessments and more.
This cooperation began in 1958 with the initiation of an intelligence pact between Iran’s SAVAK, under the Shah, the Mossad and Turkish intelligence. The codename in Israel for this pact was “Clil” (Complete).
These intimate relations were ended by Recep Tayyip Erdogan when he rose to power in 2002, first as prime minister, and currently as president. It was a gradual process that deteriorated after the Marmara incident. However, the 2010 flotilla was merely a symptom of a deeper issue. Yet, despite the security and intelligence disconnect and the diplomatic crisis, both commercial and tourism ties did grow under Erdogan.
The initiative for a turnaround in relations has come from Ankara – if indeed there is a reconciliation afoot as Turkish media have reported and Turkey’s foreign minister expects. Erdogan’s foreign and defense policies have failed miserably. He saw himself as the renewer of the days of the Ottoman Empire and as a modern-day, 21st century Sultan. He aimed to turn Turkey into a regional power, and perhaps into the strongest force in the Middle East, but this did not happen.
Instead, Turkey finds itself in a conflict with Russia and Iran over Syria, where Erdogan hoped to see President Bashar Assad ousted. Erdogan supported the Muslim Brothers in Egypt and now he finds himself at odds with Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi. Because of Turkey’s uncompromising fight against its Kurdish population, as well as in Syria and Iraq, Ankara is also losing its influence with NATO and with the US. Turkey is now more isolated than ever and is therefore interested in renewing ties with Israel, in the hope that the Jewish state can help Ankara improve its standing in Washington. Turkey also needs natural gas from Israel in order to diversify its sources of energy and to reduce its dependency on Russian gas.
Most of the disagreements between Israel and Turkey stemming from the Marmara incident have already been rectified. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized for the incident in which nine Turkish citizens were killed. Israel has already made clear that it is prepared to pay some $25 million in compensation to the families of the victims. Turkey has deported senior Hamas military wing official Salah Aruri from the country and has tightened its supervision of the organization’s members at Israel’s request. Ankara has also agreed to institute special legislation that will prevent IDF commanders from standing trial for the Marmara incident.
However, the bigger problem to be solved is connected to Hamas in Gaza. Turkey is looking for a foothold in the Strip. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is strongly opposed to this, with his main argument being, to use a schoolyard expression, “You started it.” Meaning, Erdogan broke the rules, and therefore he bears the responsibility for rectifying the situation. Egypt’s Sisi as well is not prepared to easily forgive and grant Erdogan a prize for his behavior, as if nothing happened.
If the golden formula is found, and the crisis is indeed solved, it will be part of a three-way deal: Israel-Egypt-Turkey, in which the strategic alliance with Egypt is much more important to Israel than rehabilitating ties with Turkey.
Anyways, as the phrase goes, it’s not over until it’s over.

Original Post: Analysis: A weakened Turkey seeks Israel’s help to break growing isolation

Meet the Bogus Technology the Government Will Use to Frame You

What happens if the facial recognition cameras get it wrong? Or the “visual microphone” detects the wrong sound? Or the emotion-reading or crime-predicting technology of the near future is just quackery, designed to frame anyone the government wants to convict? Sadly, this isn’t sci-fi fantasy; it’s the present and we’re already living through it. Just ask Steve Talley…

 

Russian TV crew leaks film of Turkish military buildup on Syrian Border

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A Russian TV crew has managed to obtain video proof of Turkey’s increased military presence on the Syrian border, as it filmed fortifications and tanks on the frontier.

The lodgments are heavily fortified by tanks and self-propelled guns, REN-TV crew reported from the scene.

Shells and other ammunition are being delivered to the Turkish positions, which are shelling Kurdish forces in Syrian territory, according to the report.

“The barrels of the tanks and self-propelled guns are pointed in the direction of the mainly Kurdish Syrian city of Kobane,” the journalist said.

There were at least six or seven tanks in the area and the Turkish forces on the border can be deployed in Syria “in an instant,” according to REN-TV.

The REN-TV reporters tried to determine where the fire had come from and noticed a couple of hidden tanks in the pictures they had taken from the crime scene.

During the first night of the Syrian ceasefire, more than 200 Islamic State fighters crossed the Turkish border into Syria and another 100 came up from the Syrian city of Raqqa before joining forces near Kurdistan, the Russian center for reconciliation said in a report.

The journalists said the fighting had intensified quickly after that, adding that if not for the brave efforts of the Kurdish forces in Syria, the city could have been easily overrun by the terrorists.

There have also been reports of a heavy artillery attack on the Kurdish town of Tel Abyad in northern Syria near Kurdistan. However, Turkish military sources denied to Hurriyet that its forces had been involved in any cross-border shelling.

The much-anticipated Syrian ceasefire was brokered by leading world powers, including the US and Russia. It aims to pave the way to reconciliation between the Syrian government and “moderate” rebel forces, which would together agree on a peaceful political transition for the country.

The terrorist groups in Syria, such as Islamic State and Nusra Front, are excluded from the ceasefire, which took effect at midnight on February 27.

In an interview earlier this week, Turkey’s Prime Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu denied that Turkey had any intent to invade Syria. According to the PM, it was unlikely that such a move would be supported by its Arab allies, which have already criticized Ankara for sending troops into northern Iraq.

Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu addresses members of parliament from his ruling AK Party (AKP) during a meeting at the Turkish parliament in Ankara, Turkey, November 25, 2015. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

At the same time, Davutoglu told CNN Turk that the Syrian ceasefire plan will not be considered binding if it threatens Turkey’s security, adding that Ankara will continue to fight the Syrian Kurds and ISIS, taking all the “necessary measures.”

In an Al-Jazeera interview this week, Davutoglu also admitted that Ankara was, in fact, supporting armed groups in Syria.

“How would they be able to defend themselves if there was no Turkish support for the Syrian people? … If there’s a real moderate Syrian opposition today, it’s because of Turkish support. If the [Assad] regime isn’t able to control all the territories today, [it’s] because of Turkish and some other countries’ support,” he said.

Read more at http://www.trunews.com/russian-tv-crew-leaks-film-of-turkish-military-buildup-on-syrian-border/#h8MxfR2jTHiSrKeA.99

Original Post: Russian TV crew leaks film of Turkish military buildup on Syrian Border