The Turkish Game-changer

Anger continues in Turkish street, and Erdogan is threatening to himself visit Gaza to break the siege. He is considering sending the Turkish navy to accompany the next flotilla to Gaza. This is positive news. The time for Western-style symbolic protest of the type demonstrated by MV Rachel Corrie is over. We’ve entered the era of Mavi Marmara.  Today protests were held worldwide in support of Gaza (see video at the bottom). This flame isn’t dying anytime soon.


AlJazeeraEnglish — 05 June 2010 — The captured and the dead from the recent raid by Israeli commandos on an aid flotilla have been returned to Turkey, but the anger continues on the streets.

As thousands of Turks protested against Israel on Saturday, fuelling the fury further was the news of the preliminary autopsy reports.

The ever-present Palestinian flag was waved alongside that of Turkey. Also visible was the green flag of Hamas, signalling a new and widespread public embrace of all the Palestinian factions.

Even more surprisingly, the yellow flag of the Lebanese group, Hezbollah, was strongly present.

What began as an expression of support for Palestinians appears to have been transformed into fundamental opposition of Israel, evident in the mages of the Israel flag being burned in the street.

Al Jazeera’s Mike Hanna reports from Istanbul.

Author: Idrees Ahmad

I am a Lecturer in Digital Journalism at the University of Stirling and a former research fellow at the University of Denver’s Center for Middle East Studies. I am the author of The Road to Iraq: The Making of a Neoconservative War (Edinburgh University Press, 2014). I write for The Observer, The Nation, The Daily Beast, Los Angeles Review of Books, The Atlantic, The New Republic, Al Jazeera, Dissent, The National, VICE News, Huffington Post, In These Times, Le Monde Diplomatique, Die Tageszeitung (TAZ), Adbusters, Guernica, London Review of Books (Blog), The New Arab, Bella Caledonia, Asia Times, IPS News, Medium, Political Insight, The Drouth, Canadian Dimension, Tanqeed, Variant, etc. I have appeared as an on-air analyst on Al Jazeera, the BBC, TRT World, RAI TV, Radio Open Source with Christopher Lydon, Alternative Radio with David Barsamian and several Pacifica Radio channels.

5 thoughts on “The Turkish Game-changer”

  1. One man with steel balls, Hugo Chávez changed things forever in Latin America. Iron balls, Erdogan can do the same in the Middle East.

  2. The activists were like the civil rights demonstrators who sat down at segregated lunch counters throughout the South and refused to leave until they were served. Their goal was not really to get breakfast. It was to end segregation.

    That fact is so obvious that it is hard to believe that the “pro-Israel” lobby is using it as an indictment.

    Of course the goal of the flotilla was to break the blockade.
    Of course Martin Luther King provoked the civil authorities of the South to break segregation.
    Of course the Solidarity movement used workers’ rights as a pretext to break Soviet-imposed Communism.

    The bottom line is that the men and women of the flotilla had every right to attempt to destroy an illegal blockade that Israel had no legal standing to impose and which was designed to inflict collective punishment on the people of Gaza…

  3. This is enormous. Turks waving Hizbullah flags. After a century of estrangement, Turks and Arabs are coming together. The shift was already happening. The Israeli attack on Turkey’s ships and citizens in international waters has made it very visible indeed. Stand by for an entirely new dynamic.

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