Monday, July 9, 2012

Syria crisis shows limits of rising Turkish power

(Reuters) - Turkey's bark seems worse than its bite.

Ask the Syrians, who shot down a Turkish reconnaissance jet on June 22 and got away with it.

Turkish leaders shrilled up their rhetoric. They sent anti-aircraft missiles to the border and repeatedly scrambled F-16 fighters when Syrian helicopters flew too close. Ankara won supportive noises from its NATO allies. But that was it.

Ask the Israelis, who killed nine pro-Palestinian Turkish activists on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara aid ship in 2010, and got away with it. Turkey threatened to send its navy to protect future flotillas to Gaza, but never followed through.

The danger for Turkey is that its truculence, whether over the Mavi Marmara ship incident with Israel or over the loss of its F-4 off the Syrian coast, begins to look toothless. Read More