Murphy's Law: Jealousy Or Jeopardy

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December 13, 2010: With Turkey's Islamic government cutting off sales opportunities to the Turkish military, Israel has shifted its attentions to Turkey's ancient enemy, Greece. While Greece and Turkey have both been on the same side (members of NATO) for half a century, they still actively plan for war with each other. Both nations are equipped with similar weapons, but Israel has conducted four military exercises with Greece recently, while Turkey has canceled several with Israel.

While Greece is broke at the moment, and cutting military spending, the Israelis are not wasting any time showing the Greeks what is available. Israel, like Greece, is a big user of F-16 jet fighters. Israel has developed some world class accessories for the F-16, as well as many other weapons and items of military equipment.

All this annoys many Turks, who don't like getting cozy with the Arabs, and losing an economically and militarily powerful local ally like Israel. Then there are the new efforts to develop closer relations with Iran, an ancient enemy and current international pariah. The split with Israel has had consequences.

Turkey has internal problems, especially corruption and inept government, and the Islamic party in power for most of the past decade has cracked down on corruption and kept the economy moving along. While most Turks are all for eliminating corruption, there's more of a split over the Israel issue. Arabs are seen as backward and troublesome, while Israelis are advanced and easy to work with. Many Turks want to keep religion out of government, but even more want to prevent Greece from getting any stronger militarily. So the split with Israel has become a big deal inside Turkey, with growing efforts to patch things up.

 

 


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