The Middle East is the land of the Abrahamic religions and has been home to many fine people down the ages. It has strong sacred values; but many unpleasing traditions and weaknesses have also arisen in the region. A Middle East divided within itself is the result of these weaknesses. If there is one lesson that the Middle East needs to learn from history, it is that problems cannot be solved through war, fighting and disagreements.
True democracies are established institutions that have grasped this fact. Established democracies have long experienced the costs of impulsive actions and how anger can lead to war. The leaders of democratic countries therefore try to find a middle way and keep a cool head even in the most extraordinary situations.
The time has now come for the Middle East to correct this defect. Democratic values can allow this to flourish in the Middle East in the way it does in the West. However, the real way for the Middle East to solve this is by building love.
That is why reports of a rapprochement between Israel and Turkey are grounds for rejoicing in this turbulent period. Relations between the two countries that had for long been allies in the Middle East became tense in 2009 and were severed completely in 2010 with the Mavi Marmara incident. However, it was their peoples that really suffered. The Israeli people were disappointed at the loss of one of their rare allies in the Middle East, while Turkey gradually began losing its own Jewish citizens. Harsh political language led to irreparable offense being taken, while the love that the Middle East needs most of all was replaced by tensions and anger.
Unending Climate of ConflictThis is actually a situation inevitably arising in disputes between governments. Sad to say, however, this tragic outcome was made completely clear with the unending climate of conflict in the wake of the Arab Spring and the profound isolation that settled on the region. It is true that this isolation was one factor that made a reconciliation between Israel and Turkey essential. Other reasons for it include commercial alliances the region imposes, the need for an alliance with Turkey if Leviathan natural gas is to reach Europe and oil to reach Israel via Turkey, as well as increasing threats in the region. Those circles that regard the situation as a 21st century tradition, in the light of "political interests," are always saying that the commercial requirements in question will inevitably force the two countries into an alliance.
Yet what this alliance actually indicates is far greater and more deeply rooted. The most compelling factors include the need for a "friend" in a region wracked by bloodshed, the increasing climate of hatred resulting from conflicts, radicalism, the worsening Shiite-Sunni conflicts, divisions replacing alliances, people increasingly forgetting love, brotherhood and humanity and the need to reach out to others. The messages issued by both sides have been highly pleasing. Israel's Foreign Ministry's director general, Dore Gold, has emphasized that, "Israel has always striven for stable relations with Turkey and is constantly examining ways to achieve that goal." Meanwhile, Deputy Turkish Prime Minister Omer Celik has said that, "Without a doubt, the state of Israel and the Israeli people are friends of Turkey.'
President Erdogan's comment that reconciliation between Israel and Turkey "would be good for us, Israel, Palestine and the entire region" emphasizes the true aim behind this alliance. The lack of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian question or to problems concerning Gaza has long been self-evident. It is of vital importance for Turkey to become involved in this, as it was in the past, and to play an intermediary role. In addition, cooperation between two important components of the Middle East will enable problems to be resolved quickly and facilitate a powerful policy of opposition to conflict and disagreement. Of course this alliance must be further strengthened and broadened. There must also be such reconciliation between Turkey and Egypt. Existing problems with Libya must be solved as a matter of urgency, and powerful countries must come together under a single roof to solve disagreements in the region.
At this point it is a matter of urgency for Turkey, as a democratic Islamic country, to become a highly modern land that is more open to novelty, that always values freedom of thought and that allows no scope for fanaticism. Although the mindset that harbors hatred toward Jews, Christians and other races and countries is not strong, it is still trying to gain influence in Turkey and opposes any alliance that might be created. It is very important, in order to prevent this, for Turkey to be an Islamic country that embraces all faiths and peoples, that espouses liberty and that implements the modernity represented by Europe in a more powerful manner.
Friendship and Love
Let it not be forgotten that friendship and love are fundamental concepts of which the Middle East stands in need. Societies that open the door to love are always happy ones. They never fight or engage in conflict or are easily angered. At the moment, people prefer conflict and hatred to love. Yet love must not be kept waiting at the gate. It must always be incited in. Every act of reconciliation in the Middle East is like a hand opening the door of love. What we want to see is the Israeli-Turkish alliance representing a beginning of this and being instrumental in the opening of the doors of reconciliation in the Middle East. Let's see peoples binding together with one another and rebuilding more powerful ties in the Middle East.
Adnan Oktar's piece in The China Post: