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Wednesday, September 14, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Erdogan orders Turkish military to prepare for 'worst' case scenario with Israel

ANKARA — For the first time since Israel's independence, Turkey has raised the prospect of war with the Jewish state.


Prime Minister Recep Erdogan said Turkey would be justified in launching a war against Israel. He said Ankara decided on restraint when the Israel Navy intercepted a Turkish-flagged flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip in May 2010, in which eight Turks were killed.

"It is a cause for war, but we decided to act in line with Turkey's grandeur and showed patience," Erdogan said.

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The prime minister, who on Sept. 13, addressed the Arab League, was said to have ordered his military to prepare for a confrontation with Israel. Turkey's media said the orders included naval operations along the coast of the Gaza Strip as well as the development of subsystems for the Air Force's F-16 multi-role fighter fleet.

"All we said is that warships will protect Turkish boats from an attack in international waters," Erdogan told the Egyptian daily Al Shurouq.

"It's our legitimate right and no one can deny us. This statement angered Israel, because it wants to maintain its control over the international waters in the Middle East."

On Sept. 12, the Turkish daily Sabah reported that the navy has assigned three ships to patrol the eastern Mediterranean. Sabah said the Turkish warships would accompany the next flotilla to the Gaza Strip and come within 100 meters of Israel Navy vessels outside of Israeli territorial waters.

Erdogan was also said to have ordered the development of aircraft systems that could help in any attack on Israel. The Turkish newspaper Daily Star reported that the state-owned Aselsan has developed a radar to replace U.S.-origin Identification Friend or Foe system on the F-16.

Turkey, with a fleet of nearly 250 F-16s, has been equipped with IFF that designate Israeli aircraft as friend and prevent missile firing. But Aselsan was said to have overridden F-16 software with the company's indigenous IFF system, already installed on several combat aircraft.

The IFF project was said to have been marred by the suicide of three Aselsan engineers in 2006 and 2007. Families of the engineers said their death was suspicious and expressed concern that they had been killed.

The Daily Star said Aselsan's new system would be installed on all Turkish combat platforms. The newspaper, regarded as close to the Erdogan government, cited fighter-jets, helicopters, warships and submarines.

"The Turkish Navy is prepared for every scenario — even the worst one," Erdogan said.


The west could not wipe us off the map when we were at our weakest during WWI, how is Israel going to do it now? We are the sons of Ottomans, we'll fight till the end. There is no power that can wipe us off the map. Read some history, sir.

Serkan      2:40 a.m. / Thursday, September 15, 2011

I have always enjoyed my trips to Turkey as its an amazing country with rich history and beautiful sites. But Erdogan and the Islamists are dragging Turkey down the wrong road, a very dangerous path. If they wage war with Israel they will most certainly be wiped off the map. I'm just glad I had the chance to visit before that happens!

Tim      6:02 p.m. / Wednesday, September 14, 2011

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