Published On: Wed, Jul 6th, 2016

Article Scan: “How Erdogan’s Israeli gambit may cost him Islamist support?” (by PINAR TREMBLAY, a columnist for Al-Monitor’s Turkey Pulse)

PINAR-TREMBLAYTurkey’s president made a startling reversal this week in one of his long-held stances on a touchy subject, firing up Islamists who were already unhappy with the country’s recent rapprochement with Israel.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had always defended Turkey’s role in the disastrous Mavi Marmara incident in 2010, in which an aid flotilla attempted to breach Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. Erdogan described Israel’s actions as terrorism, recited the Quran for the flotilla victims at gatherings and criticized his domestic opponents frequently for not standing up against Israel. In July 2014, he spoke at a dinner and said, “If they [Mavi Marmara organizers] needed permission from an authority, we gave them permission.”

But on June 29, facing a strong backlash against the normalization agreement between Turkey and Israel on the domestic front, Erdogan ridiculed the Mavi Marmara organizers, asking them whom they had checked with before embarking on their journey to Gaza.

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