This one was shared by Ms. K.F., and it follows on a story we blogged about recently, namely that the US Department of Defense has ordered the families of American service personnel out of Turkey. Now, Israel is warning its citizens to get of of Turkey and to stay away:
“Following a situational assessment, we are reiterating and sharpening the high level of threat in Turkey,” Friday’s statement from the bureau said.
“Real and immediate terror threats remain throughout the country,” the statement continued, urging Israelis in Turkey to “avoid crowded tourist areas, follow instructions of local authorities and get out as soon as possible.”
The warning, which raised the terror risk in Turkey from level 2 (high concrete threat) to level 1 (highest concrete threat level), came following a terror attack in central Istanbul last month, in which three Israelis were killed and several others wounded. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Prime Minister’s Office, which oversees the Counter-Terrorism Bureau, issued an initial travel warning in the wake of the attack, saying Islamic State terrorists in Turkey had “high capabilities” of carrying out further attacks against tourist targets.
The fresh alert stressed that the threat of jihadist attack was valid for the entire country, not just Istanbul or other major tourist attractions.
What's going on? As usual, permit me to indulge in some high octane speculation. As the Times of Israel article notes, the attacks in Istanbul were carried out by ISIS. Accepting that as a given, this raises some very murky questions, for ISIS, as many have pointed out, has ties to Sultan Erdogan's "neo-Ottoman" government, and, more importantly, it is now fairly conceded that it has ultimately ties to the Saudis and to the American intelligence community. This raises two basic possibilities (among many "nuanced others"). The first of these is that ISIS has now grown, like the Nazis, beyond the ability of its creators to maintain control over. The second is that it is still under the control of its intell-community creators, and has now been given new marching orders: take out Erdogan. A variant of this would be simply "crack up Turkey". The latter would certainly fill the bill, as would collapsing Mr. Erdogan's Sublime Porte, version 2.0. With the refugee crisis reaching epic proportions in Europe - thanks in part to Mr. Erdogan - and the growing backlash against it, with the Turkish provocation of Russia shooting down Russian aircraft, it stands to reason there's been a quiet sea-change in the corridors of geopolitics: Turkey is on the menu.
You'll have noticed something else in recent weeks(and months) as well: the Israeli government has been unusually quiet, considering that just a few months ago we were watching speeches to the UN about the dangers of the Iranian bomb program, and treated to Mr. Netanyahu's address to Congress. Then came the Iran deal, and more recently, Mr. Obama's stunning interview with The Atlantic Monthly magazine, in which he raised the question of America's "special relationship" with the (out)house of Saud. Add to this the fact that the Saudi regime itself has had to issue sovereign bonds, and is now talking quite openly about transitioning its economy from oil to solar pwer in an effort to become a global provider of solar-based electrical power, and you get the idea: something is up, and something has the Saudis "spooked".
In short, all the signals are there: a massive realignment of the Middle East appears to be taking place, as the West seems to be reassessing its whole Middle East policy going back to Franklin Roosevelt. And that seems to indicate(for the moment at least) that the whole Suni sponsorship of radical Islamic groups is no longer going to be tolerated to the same degree it once was. And Mr. Erdogan's Turkey may be the first entre, for Israel does not issue such warnings lightly.
See you on the flip side...