Unlike many people, Twitter is a new place for me. I have an account on Israel (Here it is: www.twitter.com/e_israil). It is not my personal realm, I try to keep my stuff to a minimum. My whole focus is on Israel. I mostly share notes that I gather from online lessons I follow on Israeli politics and history, informative videos and articles that might be interesting for Turkish followers, I even include music videos, book recommendations and movie reviews.
Two days ago, Mr. Aydın Selcen, the first (former) consul general of Turkey in Erbil wrote an article on Israel and the USA (Here is the link for people who can read Turkish)
In fact, I am personally sympathetic to Mr. Selcen’s political analyses, especially about the Turkish foreign policy of Davutoğlu government which put Turkey in a difficult position in the Middle East. In this article, he mentions Netanyahu’s indictment and Trump’s impeachment inquiry and he emphasizes how democracy still works there even if the political leaders are under great pressure. Obviously, he criticizes the current situation in Turkey. That part is not my concern because it is widely debated almost every television channel now so there is nothing special about criticizing the flaws in our democracy.
On the other hand, I only share Israeli political issues on my Twitter account, so I only quoted his paragraphs on Israel, nothing more. I also shared the link of the whole article. I thanked him for giving correct information to Turkish readers about the democracy in Israel. Then what would you expect to happen in this situation? Being a naive at heart, I thought he would at least like my post or he would see it and would not do anything at all because since many people read his articles, how can he like every post that shares or likes his articles? 5 minutes later, to my surprise, he blocked me on Twitter?!
That Islamist and/or rightist parties have antisemitic ideas is considered a commonplace in Turkey. However, everyone is quiet about the leftist antisemitism. Mr. Selcen writes for Gazete Duvar, a leftist newspaper. I think the idea of being appreciated by an account on Israel disturbed his little antisemitic heart. Or maybe his comrades in the newspaper would be very annoyed if they found out that the people who support Israel’s right to exist like his articles. Think about that. What if I liked many of his articles, or his tweets? So Mr. Selcen blocked my account, just in case.
For the ones who can not read Turkish, let me clarify that I wrote openly on my account that I am not from Israel. I am sure he can read it and understand it perfectly. So it is impossible that he mistook me for an Israeli account. He might not like the idea of being followed by an account that is politically affiliated with Israel but it is obvious that I am just an academician sharing posts about Israel. I am not related to Israel in anyway.
To tell you the truth, if he was just an ordinary columnist, I would not have mentioned his name here. But he is a former diplomat. I hope his political views do not reflect a certain mentality in Turkish diplomatic circles.
I know many people criticize the new Turkish foreign policy in the Middle East and as Henri Barkey calls it “the Turkish-Israeli cold war” seems to last for now. But what do you expect if even the “leftist” diplomats can’t stand “an Israeli like on Twitter”?
As you know, recently Turkey has improved her relations with Russia and this new political strategy is interpreted by political analysts as “a dance with both Russia and the USA”. Although some pro-Western analysts are worried about a probable eastward drift in Turkish policy, I personally don’t expect that Turkey will ever become part of this “eurasianism madness”. Turkey will soon be back on track and will refresh her relationship with Israel. Nevertheless, I hope this time such a rapproachment would lead a better and deeper understanding of each other. Because Turkey should build a multi-dimensional policy towards Israel and we should understand that by simply following pro-Palestinian theories, we only become supporters of Palestinian terror and such a policy has nothing to do with the rights of Palestinian people. What is more, I hope that soon Turkish leftists wake up to realize that the life the Palestinian authority desires for their children, has nothing in common with the modernist, fraternist, equalitarian and anti-imperialist life they seek for themselves. The age-old saga of fight against imperialism has finally over because Palestinian authority has already become an ally of the imperialists, the leftists are tilting at windmills in Palestine.