Israeli ex-defense minister Moshe Yaalon says Erdogan seeking 'neo-Ottoman empire'. (DS).
Israeli ex-defense minister Moshe Yaalon accused Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday of seeking a "neo-Ottoman empire" while warning of growing instability in the Middle East.
Yaalon, seeking to build a campaign to become Israel's next prime minister, spoke of his concerns while addressing regional issues in a meeting with foreign journalists.
The ex-minister, forced out of office last year as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to expand his right-wing coalition, accused Erdogan of pursuing "hegemony by establishing (a) neo-Ottoman empire using the Muslim Brotherhood ideology, not just within Turkey."
He also accused NATO-member Turkey of working against Western interests.
His comments came with Turkey and the European Union undergoing an explosive crisis after key EU members the Netherlands and Germany blocked Turkish ministers from holding rallies to back constitutional changes expanding Erdogan's powers.
Yaalon named Turkey under Erdogan as one of three "radical" elements seeking to expand their influence in the Middle East, also mentioning Iran and extremist groups such as ISIS.He said he believed the situation had evolved in that way because of what he called former U.S. president Barack Obama's administration's decision to "disengage" from the Middle East.
"And the vacuum has been filled by these three elements struggling for hegemony in the region," he said.
"I've heard too many slogans in our politics in the last couple of years, ignoring the reality on the ground, ignoring the facts – at the end, ignoring our interest."
Yaalon said the conflict with the Palestinians should be managed for now to avoid further eruptions of violence.
"We are not going to reach a final settlement in the coming future," he said. Hmmm.....I totally agree with his view. Read the full story here.