WikiLeaks: Turkish PM ‘Hates’ Israel

ANKARA (AFP)—Turkey’s Islamist-rooted prime minister “simply hates Israel” on religious grounds, U.S. cables released by WikiLeaks say, reflecting growing U.S. misgivings over Ankara’s foreign policy.

The scathing assessment comes in a memo on a conversation with Israeli ambassador to Turkey, Gabby Levy, about Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s frequent outbursts against Israel following the Jewish state’s devastating war on the Gaza Strip last year.

“Our discussions with contacts both inside and outside of the Turkish government…tend to confirm Levy’s thesis that Erdogan simply hates Israel,” the cable said.

Levy reportedly dismissed domestic political calculations as the motive behind Erdogan’s hostility, and instead attributed it to the prime minister’s Islamist background.

“He’s a fundamentalist. He hates us religiously and his hatred is spreading,” Levy was quoted as saying.

The cable concluded that Erdogan’s “antipathy towards Israel is a factor” in his policy on Iran’s nuclear program and other Middle East issues.

It was dated October 2009, before Turkish-Israeli ties plunged into a full-blown crisis on May 31 when Israeli forces killed nine Turks on a Gaza-bound aid ship.

Shortly afterwards, NATO’s sole Muslim-majority member voted “no” to fresh sanctions against Iran, adopted at the UN Security Council, insisting that a nuclear fuel swap deal it hammered out with Tehran, together with Brazil, should be given a chance.

Another cable, dated November 2009, said Washington was “wondering if it could any longer count on Turkey to help contain Iran’s profound challenge to regional peace.”

According to other papers, Erdogan lacks “vision” and “analytic depth,” reads “minimally,” ignores foreign ministry expertise, and is guided by an “iron ring of sycophantic (but contemptuous) advisors…which partially explains…his susceptibility to Islamist theories.”

He is said to rely on “his charisma, instincts, and the filterings of advisors who pull conspiracy theories off the Web or are lost in neo-Ottoman Islamist fantasies, e.g., Islamist foreign policy advisor…Ahmet Davutoglu.”

Davutoglu, the foreign minister since May 2009, met Monday with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as part of a previously scheduled visit to Washington.

The cables portray Erdogan’s advisors and Davutoglu as having little understanding of politics beyond Turkey.

Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul, quoted by U.S. diplomats, describes Davutoglu as “exceptionally dangerous.”

Despite his bragging, Erdogan is afraid of losing power, according to the dispatches, and one source is quoted as saying that “Tayyip believes in God but doesn’t trust Him.”

A cable signed by the U.S. ambassador in January 2010 says Davutoglu wants to reassert on the Balkans the influence the Ottoman Empire used to exert on the region.

But the foreign minister overestimates himself and Turkey, wrote the U.S. diplomats, saying the country was “with Rolls Royce ambitions but Rover resources.”

Another memo reported Israeli claims that Ankara allowed supplies for Iran’s nuclear program to be shipped across its territory.

Speaking in October 2009 after a meeting with Israeli counterparts, a French diplomat tells the Americans of “profound disquiet among the Israelis about Turkey.”

“He reported that the Israelis claimed the Turks have allowed weapons-related material for Iran’s nuclear program to transit Turkey, with Prime Minister Erdogan’s full knowledge,” the memo said.

“The French replied that Israel would need to have clear and concrete proof of such activity before leveling accusations. The Israelis replied that they are collecting evidence which they will eventually publicize.”


  1. Israel is far from perfect (I’ll never be thrilled with its decades long humiliation of the Palestinians and its lobbying on behalf of Turkey) but I do agree that it is the only somewhat normal state in the region. I do not have much faith in any Muslim country ever being truly open, democratic, reasonable or even magnanimous. With regards to Iran, I can see that after reading wikiieaks that Israel is very upfront and honest while the Arab states are the ones working the back channels and playing games’ they want the US to attack Iran but will be the first to complain. The Middle East is a zero-sum game.

  2. This is where things get really silly and show how Wiki leaks offer uncritical indulgence in personal trivialities rather than an explanation of anything. “Turkish PM ‘Hates’ Israel”. Give me a break! Who thinks that explains  two client states of the US  jockeying to be the main players in the region? The writing is on the wall: the US and Israel, as well as “enlightened, secular Turks”, want a restoration of Kemalism. The gossip about Erdogan can only help get things there. Oh, what a relief that will be!

  3. Hye, turkish destruction of our Woodrow Wilson memorial, under our noses, in our national capitol city of Washington DC has been pursued… for, remembering President Woodrow Wilson’s position against the turks (certainly for the Armenian’s surivivors of the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation).  All these years, nearly 100 years later,
    the turk is invading the capitol city of the United States of America in order to ‘assault’ the Woodrow Wilson memorial, using extraordinary monies to accomplish all – boldly, as bullies are wont to do, ‘under our noses’!  Even the ex-congressman who (recently and
    conveniently retired) shall have known these actions of the turks against our own President Wilson’s memorial, created by American citizens, for a fine dedicated, and highly educated president of our nation.  Imagine, he graduated from Princeton University, became president of Princeton, later even became President Wilson of the United States of America.  The bullying, the absolute self-obssessed turks, in their inhumanity think they have the rights to enter this memorium, their goal to be to actively use obscene monies to DARE to ‘eliminate’ an American icons memorial.  Thus
    the turks, who call themselves ‘the best ally of the USA’ – but just because the turks say this – stretching truths – for the truth being, it is the USA leaderships, misdirected, who have been the ‘best’ ally of the turks… who today, via Wilsons’ memorial, obviously and without any rights… choose to enter and destroy that which belongs to Americans!  Thus is the evidence of the turk mentality – a turkey for turks… as if and as though the turks
    have earned the Armenian lands, properties, wealths (upon which today’s turkey wealth is built upon) from the 19th, 20th, and now 21st centuries having ‘gotten away with murders and worse… For, the cycle of Genocides still perpetrated by turkey ongoing and unending – is what the turks share with the civilized nations of the world…  Why wars, when Genocides are ‘easier’…’eliminate and steal’ and then offer denials to a world… and too, Genocides will continue on our planet as long the perpetrators choose…
    P.S. APrinceton University president,too, the President of the USA vs ……

  4. what a silly article… i felt like i just read a conversation written down in a school playground. please. politics is politics but this article cant be taken seriously. very biased. media should not be biased

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