After Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım announced that Turkey made an agreement with Israel, I called a few people I knew in Gaza. I called Palestinian journalists working for Anadolu Agency (AA) whom I had worked with before the darkest days of the blockaded city. They were representing the people who expected help from Turkey and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan instead of their own country or the Arab world when they were bombarded by Israel. Therefore their explanations, observations and analyses were important for me.
Gazans: Bitter yet grateful
I know that all Gazans have focused on the agreement and are waiting with great hope. Because their only hope is Turkey. And the person they trust the most is Erdoğan.
The bitter yet grateful Palestinians explain:
“Gazans have great hope in this agreement. Turkey has done more than any Arab country has ever done for us. We expected that our problems would end with this agreement. Turkey has been striving very hard to lift the blockade and sanctions. Yet it did not happen. It was all they could do. May God bless all your efforts.”
There is a bitter feel about the issue, but it is not totally pessimistic. They say that the most important articles of the agreement are establishing new power plants and then providing water:
“Electricity is a very important issue for us. We have suffered greatly from its lack. Some people have lost their lives because of this. If this issue is solved the people of Gaza will be grateful to Turkey. Clean water is another important problem we have. Hopefully this issue will be solved with this agreement too.”
The articles of the agreement do not lift the blockade on Gaza, which means Gaza would become free. However, the sanctions that have taken Gaza back to medieval times will be made flexible.
Electricity, water, hospitals, housing and construction materials coming in will obviously make life easier. Ten thousand tons of aid might not be enough to meet all of Gaza's needs, but will surely boost the motivation of the people there. Besides, this will hopefully lead to the lifting of the sanctions.
Globally: 'Stability for the Middle East'
Netanyahu said that being on bad terms with Turkey weakened Israel in the statement he made from Rome at about the same time as Prime Minister Yıldırım. In fact this situation weakened Turkey too. The power of the Jewish diaspora in the US and the whole world caused many problems for Turkey, including problems in the economy, finance, media, intelligence, terror and diplomacy fields. It was some kind of attack on us.
As a result both countries battered each other, but neither could prevail. No one expected us to stand powerful against an Israel backed by the US and UK.
Netanyahu says this agreement will bring stability to the Middle East. Which means it will pull back Daesh, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Syria's Bashar Assad, the Gülen Movement, which have all created problems for Turkey. We shall wait and see.
Neither victory nor defeat, this is a real politic step
Some are trying to portray this agreement as a great victory or a great defeat. The Jerusalem issue, the Palestine issue, the Mavi Marmara raid were all very emotional issues for us. Therefore there are some who oppose the agreement. We should try to understand them but also try and explain.
Most of those who call this “defeat” are acting. The Gülen Movement, the supporters of the Gezi Park events, PKK supporters and the far-leftists are propagating that this is a fiasco.
Their motive is to wear out Erdoğan during this period. They are evil-minded people who do not understand the country or the region. Forget them.
And then there are those who are trying to portray this agreement as a great victory that will bring Israel to its knees. They are mistaken too. Just try to understand their excitement.
This agreement is neither defeat nor victory. A real political state led us to sign this agreement. Turkey, Palestine and the region will gain. Israel will gain too, but it will also lose. This is how agreements work. Neither side gets exactly what they want so they have to settle in the middle. The public opinions of both countries argue that the other side has won, thus they criticize their governments. Therefore this means both sides as are at a gain and loss.
We have to be a strong Turkey
We were not strong enough. We have to admit to this no matter how hard it is. We have ideals, dreams, goals, but sometimes we do not have the strength to make these become reality. We were not strong enough to solve the Gaza and Palestine issue alone.
This means we have to become stronger. We can only make these agreements suit our needs totally if we become a more powerful country. Thus we need time and to work harder to achieve this. We have to become a calm, realistic and powerful Turkey.