The Turkish government's acceptance of the visit was criticized by some circles and Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul replied to these criticisms yesterday. Gul speaking at the Justice and Development Party (AKP) Cubuk District Congress said Turkey will continue to be interested in the Palestinian issue as long as it contributes to peace.
"I even have their land registries. Who else would be interested in Palestine if not me?" the Foreign Minister asked. "Many suggestions on peace have been made to HAMAS political leader Khalid Mashaal and what is important is the message you send. The delegation said they will take our messages into consideration when determining their policies. Why would anyone be disturbed by Turkey's contribution to peace?" Gul questioned.
Turkey's strength is perceived as greater than that of the Arab world, the United States, and Europe, he added. The Turkish government is interested in Palestine based on its awareness of this strength and their historical ties. Gul accused those criticizing the visit of "ignoring their country's power and being oblivious to history." They are suddenly disturbed when Turkey crawls out of its shell and attempts to take part in regional and global matters, he said.
The foreign minister reminded that the region was ruled peacefully by the Turks for several centuries: "I have the land registries and archives of Palestine, Jerusalem and all this territory. Last year, as the Foreign Ministry, we presented the land registries of these places to Palestine. Istanbul is the place resorted to whenever a problem arises in the Middle East. We have the archives, land registries, maps and property deeds, why shouldn't I be interested in it? Would anyone far from Europe or from the corners of the world be interested in it?"
The HAMAS visit was "positively" received by Israeli and US press and the Turkish media handled only the commercial aspect of the issue, the minister said adding, it did not fully evaluate the contents of the talks and what suggestions were made to the HAMAS delegation.
"As I read these, I see there are some who cannot see Turkey's power and greatness. I have been following the foreign media for two days; the Israeli newspapers assess the role Turkey played as a constructive effort for peace. They discuss what was done positively and describe it as "a chance." I also had a look at the US media, they wrote about what was spoken, what was discussed in Turkey, and what was handled with the delegation. They evaluated whether there can be a progress for good. Unfortunately, our newspapers dealt with the magazine dimension of the issue. None were interested in what was spoken or the outcomes. What is worse is that those who are supposed to be taking this issue seriously are also dealing with this aspect."
Gul said Turkey's strength is well known not only in the region, but also around the globe. United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan had asked Spanish PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and the Turkish PM to continue their efforts towards the alliance of civilizations, he recalled.
Turkey's importance was better understood by the world after the cartoon row, but several circles in Turkey failed to perceive this importance. "Why is Turkey given this mission for peace among religions when there are so many other countries?" Gul asked, "I do not know why our journalists and politicians do not understand this."
Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16