Erdogan’s Sweet Tooth

Following the successful UN vote last week on enhanced membership status for Palestine, a photograph has been circulating that shows Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan intently feeding Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal a piece of cake decorated with Palestinian flag icing.

Indeed, were it up Erdoğan, he would go down in history as the leader who forced Palestine down the throats of cowardly Arab regimes and defied Israel at every turn.

The prime minister’s credentials as icon of the Palestinian cause include his famous announcement to Israeli President Shimon Peres at the 2009 World Economic Forum: “When it comes to killing, you know well how to kill” — an apt assessment of Israel’s recent slaughter of 1400 people in Gaza. In the aftermath of the IDF massacre of nine Turkish citizens on board the Mavi Marmara in 2010, Erdoğan reprised his confrontational performance with accusations of “inhumane state terrorism” and worse-than-pirate behavior on the part of Israel.

Israel, of course, deserves to be called out for homicide. But that Turkish-Israeli military cooperation continued even after Erdoğan had drawn attention to the latter’s superb killing skills suggests that Gaza parents were premature in naming their offspring Recep Erdoğan.

As for other entities that appear to know a thing or two about killing, the Turkish air force was assisted in ending the lives of 35 Kurdish civilians in December 2011 by none other than an Israeli drone.

Logic would seem to dictate that the ruler of a country engaged in systematic oppression of a significant section of its population that is seeking statehood shouldn’t be so eager to appoint himself champion of other oppressed populations seeking the same thing.

That, after all, would mean having your cake and eating it too.