Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Erdogan posturing for his Arab friends

From Ma'an:
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said he would not attend a climate change conference in Athens on Friday if his Israeli counterpart is present, he told Greece's Skai TV on Monday.

Erdogan is due to attend a Mediterranean conference on climate change in Athens on Friday. "If the prime minister [of Israel] takes part in this event, I will not be there," Erdogan said.
The funny part is that there is zero indication that Netanyahu planned to attend this conference. Israelis have presented at similar conferences, but there are no Israelis stated to speak here. The only other leaders mentioned in the program are the prime ministers of host Greece and Malta, as well Salam Fayyad of the PA.

In other words, Erdogan made a statement to look tough when he knew very well that he would not be forced to follow through. It was simple posturing for the media, and it worked, as his statement was picked up by a number of news services.