More movement of Turkey toward Islam and away from Kemalist secularism and its alliance with Israel. “In Lebanon’s Beirut, shift of Turkish axis is welcomed,” by Patrick Galey for HÃ¼rriyet Daily News, November 25 (thanks to Joel):
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan departed Lebanon on Thursday after a two-day visit, the timing of which should not be taken lightly, according to experts.
ErdoÄŸan’s trip to Lebanon came just weeks after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad came to the Lebanese capital and days before Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri is scheduled to travel to Tehran.
Amal Saad Ghorayeb, research adviser at Qatar-based think tank the Doha Institute, said ErdoÄŸan’s presence in Lebanon so soon after Ahmadinejad’s demonstrates a key policy shift. “It’s an important detail because it indicates that there are not two contradictory messages behind these visits,” she told the HÃ¼rriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Thursday. “Turkey is moving closer to the so-called ‘resistance axis.’ It is edging toward a definitively anti-Israeli stance.”
The Turkish prime minister said Thursday that his country would not remain silent if Israel attacked Lebanon or the Gaza Strip, as ties between the long-time allies remain at an all-time low. “We will not be silent and we will support justice by all means available to us,” the Turkish prime minister said.
During a speech he made in a village in northern Lebanon inhabited by Turkmen families, ErdoÄŸan called on Israel to apologize for its regional mistakes. He also inspected Turkish troops serving with the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon at the Israeli border who are stationed in the area.
His remarks echoed, albeit less stridently, sentiments expressed by Ahmadinejad during speeches he delivered during his Lebanon trip….