The Obama Administration may soon present the Turkish government with a proposition to stop the upcoming flotilla to Gaza and restore relations between Ankara and Jerusalem, Turkish daily Today's Zaman reported on Friday.
The offer, first reported by Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, would involve Ankara hosting peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, according to the report. The White House is expected to soon officially make the offer to Turkey.
The Turkish government, of course, has always claimed that it has no influence over the IHH flotilla, so it will be interesting to see how it responds to this overture.
In a sense, the proposal is rather extraordinary. Its implication is that national vanity is the main driver of Turkish government policy even in life-and-death matters of great international significance. But that would indeed appear to be an accurate assessment. After all, Turkey obstructed the NATO operation in Libya for a while and its primary motivation for doing so appears to have been pique about having been excluded from the Paris meeting that preceded the military action; after some soothing diplomatic words were uttered, Turkey seemed to abandon its recalcitrance. Nothing of substance changed. It was all about nationalistic vanity. Erdogan acted like some gangsta worried about his 'rep' or a street thug obsessing about his 'honour'.