However, the national power that is quietly aiming for Islamic pre-eminence is Turkey. Up until 1924 the Ottoman Sultan was also the Caliph of the entire Ummah — or at least the Sunni portion of it. Now that the relentless secularization instituted by Kemal Ataturk is finally crumbling, the emerging Islamic regime in Ankara is eyeing its traditional role as the supreme leader of the Islamic world. A Turk is the head of the OIC — which is setting itself to be the Caliphate reborn — and many of its most important meetings are held in Turkey. The Saudis bring the big money to the table, but the Turks supply the brains, organization, and military clout.
The Sunni-Shi’ite divide is the major obstacle to a united Ummah, and Turkey and Iran are both jostling for the position of leader. Iran’s nuclear program seemed to give it the upper hand in the game, but Turkey has just played a high card with its attempted probe through the Israeli blockade into Gaza.
The Turks and the Persians are now vying for control of the Islamic aftershocks that are rumbling throughout the Middle East and Asia. Each country wants to lead the charge for Islamic unity in the face of Zionist perfidy. The Turkish prime minister has set the stage for the total isolation of Israel and possible military action against what he hopes will become a pariah state. According to Hurriyet:
Turkish PM Calls Israeli Raid on Gaza Flotilla ‘State Terror’
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday accused Israel of committing “inhuman state terror” with its deadly raid on a fleet of aid ships bound for Gaza.
“It should be known that we will not stay silent and unresponsive in the face of this inhuman state terror,” Erdogan said in live televised remarks ahead of his departure from Chile to Turkey, cutting short a Latin American tour.
“International law has been trampled underfoot,” he added.
And here’s where he plays another high card:
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Erdogan also called for a meeting of NATO ambassadors, who will hold emergency talks Tuesday, spokesman James Appathurai said.
Mr. Erdogan is attempting something that no other Islamic country could ever manage: he wants to obtain the military support (or at least passive acquiescence) of his NATO allies, based on their treaty obligations to Turkey as a member state.
Prior to the coronation of Barack Hussein Obama, Turkey would have stood no chance of success in such an audacious endeavor. But the American administration has already made it quite clear that Israel’s security — not to mention its very existence — is of no great concern to it. A green light for Turkey under the current circumstances is not unthinkable.
For decades Israel maintained good relations with Turkey, both military and diplomatic, but that’s all over now.
Once again, from Hurriyet:
Raid on Flotilla Puts Final Nail in Coffin of Turkish Ties With Israel
As details slowly emerge in the wake of Israel’s deadly attack on a flotilla of aid ships bound for the Gaza Strip, leaders from Turkey’s ruling and opposition parties raise their voices to condemn the action. It is the latest and worst incident in a long line of troublesome encounters over the last year and a half between the two NATO allies and some say this could be the final act. ‘Our relations will never be the same,’ says a member of the ruling AKP
Israel’s deadly attack on a Palestinian aid convoy is likely to be the last straw in already fraught Turkish-Israeli relations, according to senior officials in Turkey’s ruling party.
Though the identities of the killed civilians were still unknown late Monday when the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review went to print, it is believed that many of the dead are Turkish citizens.
Yes, many of the dead and injured are undoubtedly Turks, because the Free Gaza Flotilla was a thinly-disguised Turkish military operation.
And Turkey is planning to cash in on what happened this morning by leading the Islamic charge against Israel:
On Monday, Turkey appeared to be taking the lead in gathering international support against the Israeli attack, with the government already pressing international organizations such as the Organization of the Islamic Conference, or OIC, the European Union and the Arab League to take action.
“The worst possible scenario has happened,” said the head of the Turkish Center for International Relations and Strategic Analysis, or TÜRKSAM, Sinan Ogan.
“Israel has made a suicide commando move, and has committed suicide internationally, he said. “The Turkish-Israeli relationship is now open to every different scenario.”
He said, “The relationship between Turkey and Israel will face its biggest test in history, with the possibility of Turkey taking this issue to the European Union.”
Crisis desks were established at the Turkish Prime Ministry and the Foreign Ministry on Monday morning. Speaking to reporters after an emergency meeting, Arinç said 400 of the Mavi Marmara’s 581 passengers were Turks.
“I strongly condemn the use of force by Israeli military forces on an aid convoy composed of 32 countries, including Turkey,” he said. “This attack must not remain unanswered.”
And here comes the absurd cover story:
Arinç said the government was not involved in the organization of the flotilla, saying it was a pure civil society initiative.
Yes, of course. And if you believe that one, I’ve got a little bridge in Brooklyn that you might be interested in purchasing…
The threats have begun:
Turkey on Monday warned Israel of “irreparable consequences” to bilateral ties after more than 10 people died in an Israeli operation on aid-carrying ships bound for Gaza, among them Turkish vessels.
The Israeli envoy was summoned to the Foreign Ministry as hundreds gathered outside Israeli missions to protest the assault that came atop already badly worsened ties between the two former allies.
“By targeting civilians, Israel has once again shown its disregard for human life and peaceful initiatives. We strongly condemn these inhumane practices of Israel,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
“Israel will have to bear the consequences of this behavior, which constitutes a violation of international law,” it said.
[The Israeli ambassador] was told that “Turkey retains all its rights under international law concerning this assault,” a Turkish diplomat, who asked not to be named, told AFP.
“We are considering the actions that we may take under international law,” he said.
So far there is no official indication as to what “actions” Turkey might consider appropriate.
Moving next door to Iran, are the Ayatollahs going to sit idly by while Turkey claims the mantle of worldwide Islamic leadership?
No, of course they aren’t. According to PressTV:
‘Israel Deserves Collective Punishment’
Iran’s Foreign Ministry has condemned Israel’s deadly attack on an aid flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip as an act of “maritime terrorism.”
“The regime’s attack on the ships and its passengers is reminiscent of the acts of ancient pirates,” a Foreign Ministry statement read Monday.
This is amusing, coming from a country that not too long ago boarded a British naval vessel and took its crew hostage, milking the occasion for its maximum propaganda value.
“Under the (1988) Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation, this is a blatant example of maritime terrorism,” the statement added.
“This is the time for the international community to adopt a resolute stance against the recurring crimes of this belligerent and occupationist regime.”
Also from PressTV:
Iran: Muslims Must Unite Against Israel
The mullahs are not thinking of Muslim unity under Turkish leadership, however. The Islamic Republic — in its role as the leader of all Shi’ite Muslims, and with a mandate to usher in the reign of the Twelfth Imam by abetting the emergence of violent chaos in the world — is the obvious choice to lead the followers of the prophet against the aggressions of the Zionist Entity.
Iranian Parliament (Majlis) Speaker Ali Larijani has urged Muslim countries to adopt a united stance on condemning Israel’s raid on Gaza-bound aid ships.
“It is necessary for all Muslim states to assume a unified and common stance on condemning the latest crime committed by the Zionist regime,” Larijani was quoted as saying on Monday by IRNA.
“This tragic incident which reveals the true nature of Israel is a disgraceful stain on the reputation of this occupying regime,” he added.
Larijani also proposed that the issue be fully discussed in the upcoming Tehran summit of the Gaza Troika, a body formed by the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) to help the besieged people of Gaza.
The APA has tasked a troika of parliament speakers from Iran, Indonesia and Syria to tour the Middle East for finding initiatives to provide aid to the impoverished people of Gaza.
It’s important to remember that although the Hamas terrorists are Sunnis, they are also Iranian clients, as is the Sunni-Alawite Syrian dictatorship.
This is going to get ugly, but the Islamic assault on Israel is just one facet of the coming ugliness. Islam has its own longstanding intramural scores to settle, and the current crisis may well provide the opportunity for another round of traditional Islamic fratricide.
All hat tips: C. Cantoni.