The Corner

Turkey’s Border-Protection Hypocrisy

The Turks have shot down a Russian fighter that penetrated its air space, possibly by accident. This quite unnecessary act of violence has been followed up with consummate hypocrisy. Refusing to apologize, the Turkish prime minister, Ahmed Davutoglu, says in attempted justification, “The protection of our land borders, our air space, is not only a right, it is a duty.” All very fine, except that in 2010 the Israelis had boarded the Mavi Marmara sailing from Turkey to Gaza with a ship-load of Islamists eager to run the blockade Israel imposes to stop the smuggling of war materials. The Islamists had arms, used them, and ten of them were killed. In defense of this action, Israeli prime minister Netanyahu used language almost identical to Davutoglu’s about the right and the duty to protect the country.  Netanyahu’s subsequent apology was not accepted, Turkey broke off relations and has behaved with childish spleen ever since. Russian President Putin has threatened “serious consequences” and it is his turn to want the apology the Turks are not giving. What goes around comes around. 

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