A Lebanese commentator has called the visit of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Cairo a demonstration of Turkey’s “anger” against Israel for the latter’s ongoing refusal to apologise for the attack on the Freedom Flotilla last year. Salim Nassar also pointed out that Turkey’s role in the region is growing and can, he thinks, position the Turkish Justice and Development Party as an important mediator between the West and the Palestinians, especially Hamas.
In exclusive statements to Quds Press, Nassar said that Turkey seeks to take Russia and Iran’s roles in the region: “Certainly, the new relationship that Mr Erdogan is trying to develop with Egypt is complementary to the new stance taken by Ankara against Tel Aviv,” he said. “Following the breaking of diplomatic ties with Israel, Erdogan and his foreign minister are seeking to make Turkey the key player in the Middle East. It is certainly more open than Iran to the Arab countries.”
According to Nasser, Turkey has an important role in bridging the gap between the West and the Palestinians, as it regards the Palestine-Israel conflict as the main danger to the security and stability of the region. “Erdogan,” claims Nasser, “wants to tell the West that it perceives Hamas today as it perceived Yasser Arafat yesterday.” Just as the West entered into negotiations with Arafat, he added, it will eventually do so with Hamas. “The Islamic Resistance Movement was chosen by the Palestinians in a democratic ballot; logic demands that the democracies of the West recognise democratic results elsewhere.”