No Change to Plans for May Visit
Despite calls from the United States to delay the visit indefinitely, Turkey says that the travel plans of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan are unchanged, and he will visit the Gaza Strip in May.
Analysts say that Erdogan’s visit is driven primarily by an attempt to improve his political standing domestically, facing a voting public that is not at all sold on recent attempts to broker a solution to the long-standing Kurdish conflict.
Secretary of State John Kerry told Erdogan that visiting the Gaza Strip would “threaten” the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Since those talks aren’t going on anyhow, and there is no sign of them starting any time soon, the complaint was dismissed pretty quickly.
Erdogan has been talking up a possible visit to Gaza since the Mavi Marmara killings in 2010, but the logistics of such a visit remain difficult. It may be more readily done, however, after Qatar’s emir made a similar visit in October.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- 16 Civilians Killed as US Warplane Attacks Afghan Hospital - October 3rd, 2015
- Putin Ally: Russian Strikes in Syria to Last 3-4 Months - October 2nd, 2015
- Obama Rules Out Cooperation With Russia on Syria Strikes - October 2nd, 2015
- Iraq Cuts Off Wages and Pensions to ISIS-Held Territory - October 2nd, 2015
- UN Mulls Assad-Led Syrian 'Transition' Period - October 2nd, 2015