By Khalid Amayreh
(source: Palestinian Information Center)
Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu has privately voiced his government’s worries about the consolidation of "Erdoganism" in Turkey following Sunday’s referendum which gave Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan additional powers to rein in the traditionally secular and anti-Islam circles, including the erstwhile sacrosanct Turkish army. Moreover, the referendum has been viewed as a preview of Erdogan’s chances of winning a third term in office at general elections slated to be held in July.
Israel views the Turkish military establishment, which is traditionally aggressively secular and anti-Islamic, as its main ally. Israel on several occasions tacitly urged the Turkish army to topple elected quasi-Islamic prime ministers such as Necmettin Erbakan in the mid 1990s.
According to the Israeli press, Netanyahu has asked his cabinet to meet in an emergency meeting to discuss the "latest developments" in Turkey.
The sources said Israel was worried that Turkey was further distancing itself from Israel and that the Jewish state was losing its last "stronghold" in Turkey, an allusion to the Turkish military establishment. It is widely believed that many of the high-ranking officers in the Turkish army are affiliated with the secret Masonic movement, which itself is believed to be controlled by the Zionist movement. Army generals and a large number of judges, who consider themselves the last defenders and guardians of the secular system, repeatedly tried to undermine Erdogan, often by resorting to plots and using legal tricks.The voting on Sunday marked the passage of 30 years since the Turkish army carried out a military coup that brought Turkey under three years of military government. Thousands of leftists, nationalists and Kurds were arrested or tortured. The Turkish constitution, amended under the military government, accorded the military a highly privileged status, preventing civilian authorities from prosecuting high-ranking officers accused of undermining democracy.The amended constitution also made the army an essential component in the political decision-making process, especially in matters pertaining to national security and international relations. The new powers accorded to Erdogan allow the Turkish government to annul article 15 of the Turkish constitution which accords the army a sacrosanct status.Israel has asked US congress, heavily dominated by Jewish lobbies, to pressure Turkey to improve its relations with Israel especially after Israel's genocidal onslaught against the Gaza Strip nearly two years ago. The bloody blitz, which destroyed much of the coastal enclave and left thousands of Gazan civilians dead and maimed, infuriated the Turkish government and people and led to a serious crisis in relations between Turkey and the Zionist regime.
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