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Sunday, September 04, 2011

Turkish member of Palmer commission criticized in Turkey

From Hurriyet Daily News:
Veteran diplomat Özdem Sanberk, the retired ambassador who represented Turkey on the U.N. panel investigating the deadly Mavi Marmara raid, has become the subject of criticism over the panel’s report, which Turkey rejected as one-sided.

Sanberk should not have appeared in the happy picture taken when the report was submitted, despite his reservations, to the U.N. secretary-general. I think he could have nixed the release of the report if he had resigned from the team instead of just stating his reservations,” said Volkan Bozkır, an Istanbul deputy from the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, who joined the party recently after retiring from the Foreign Ministry.

“The commission failed to be an objective commission. It contained Turkish and Israeli representatives. The Turkish representative put his reservations on almost all conclusions of the report,” Bozkır wrote Sunday in a message on the social-networking website Twitter. The Istanbul deputy, who heads up Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, also urged Turkey to take more caution against this type of behind-the-scenes intrigue in international platforms and courts.

Despite Bozkır’s criticisms of Sanberk, others in Ankara believe the retired ambassador should not be made a scapegoat because any failures with the report are due to collective mistakes. Members of this camp say Turkish diplomacy ignored the ability of the pro-Israel lobby to influence such commissions, and that singling out the commission’s president and vice president, Geoffrey Palmer and Alvaro Uribe, to write the report’s conclusions was a mistake made at the beginning of the process.
It is eerie how many UN commissions are influenced by the Israel lobby, isn't it?