Ten months after Turkey first protested Israel's military operation in and around Palestinian Gaza Strip, crisis between Ankara and the Israelis appears to be going from bad to worse.
It became clear on Sunday that Turkey had banned Israel from participating in a NATO-led, international air-force drill over its territory, which led to the entire exercise being postponed.
A day later, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a blistering verbal attack on Israel and its actions in Gaza last winter.
"While in some countries children are provided with comfort, peace, the most advanced education and health opportunities, other children are faced with poverty, destitution, helplessness, war, conflict, weapons of mass destruction and phosphorus bombs," he told the Turkish Religious Council, cited by media reports in Turkey and Israel.
It is hard to see the relations between the two countries coming out of the continued tensions before Israelis return to the negotiation table with the Palestinians, analysts suggested.
Turkey warms to neighbours
Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu was chairing a high-level delegation to Syria. Ankara and Damascus are forging new pacts and agreements to increase cooperation between the neighbors.
"The main slogan of this meeting is common destiny, history and future, and we will build the future together," Turkish Anadolou news agency quoted Davutoglu as saying.
VIEW FROM ANKARA
The current incident of the ban on Israel's participation in the military exercise "should not be over-exaggerated," said YusufKanli, a columnist with the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet.
It is simply a case that for domestic political reasons Ankara cannot allow Israeli warplanes which bombed Gaza to fly over Turkey, he told Xinhua on Tuesday.
Putting it down to internal interests does not mean that Turkey intends minimizing its anger at Israeli actions. The Turkish feel very close to the Palestinians and to see their suffering under Israel's closure is unacceptable, Kanli said.
However, the publication last month of the UN investigation mission's report into last winter's events in Gaza and southern Israel suggested that Israel may have been guilty of war crimes in its actions.
Turkey immediately expressed its support for the findings of the UN mission led by Judge Richard Goldstone.
SEEKING NEW HORIZONS
Turkey is not just enjoying an on-again, off-again relationship with Israel, but also with the European Union and the United States. Ankara is still finding its feet on the international stage to some extent and as a result it is treading on some toes.
A sign of weakening American influence??
good article available in full at the link.