Si l’on entreprenait une étude générale sur les qualités des dirigeants politiques et la sagesse de leurs politiques dans les pays qui jouent un rôle dans les relations internationales, il est assuré que l’actuelle direction turque se trouverait placée parmi les premières, et il est bien possible qu'elle serait classée comme la première. On trouve chez les Turcs de la mesure, un franc-parler bien inhabituel dans nos temps virtualistes, une réelle capacité à affirmer une indépendance politique malgré les nombreux liens dont dépend leur pays et un passé très lourd à cet égard, une absence notable de préjugés idéologiques, remarquable dans nos temps conformistes, et ainsi de suite. Le comportement de la Turquie, pourtant pays de l’OTAN avec beaucoup de liens avec l’Occident, a été démonstratif à cet égard durant la crise géorgienne. (Dès le printemps 2003, d’ailleurs, avec le refus du Parlement turc de laisser transiter une division US par ce pays pour attaquer l’Irak par le Nord, on pouvait mesurer cette sagesse et cette indépendance turques.)
L’interview du Premier ministre Recep Tayyip Erdogan, par le correspondant en Turquie de la chaîne télévisée Al-Jazeera, Yusuf al-Sharif, représente un remarquable exemple de cette attitude des dirigeants turcs. (Le texte est transcrit notamment sur le réseau payant de BBC.News le 5 janvier 2009; il semble que l’interview ait été réalisée le 3 ou le 4 janvier.) On en donne ici quelques extraits, qui permettent également de faire quelques lumières sur la crise de Gaza.
Al-Sharif — «You have said that the Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip is a blow to the efforts for peace in the region and an insult to Turkey. You asked Israel to cease fire immediately and to avoid expanding the area of operations. However, Israel has begun a ground offensive which it says could continue for some time in the Gaza Strip. What do you say now to Israel?»
Erdogan — «First of all, it should be said that what is happening in Gaza is a real human tragedy. The tragedy there did not begin with the Israeli offensive, but it began with the months of starvation and the siege which made life difficult for the people of Gaza. The Gaza Strip is a prison, and its inhabitants are living inside that prison isolated from the world. While the siege was continuing, the Israeli prime minister visited Ankara some days ago, in order to discuss the fifth round of indirect negotiations between Syria and Israel which we are sponsoring. We discussed that subject for about six hours and we did not discuss the subject of Gaza at all. However, we said to him we can help him in the Palestinian track as well. Specifically, we offered to mediate with Hamas and we said to him if the women and children among the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails we can save the Israeli soldier who is held by Hamas from captivity.
»The Israeli prime minister replied to me that he will discuss the matter the following day with his advisers and he will respond to me. We did not hear anything from him after that. That is a behaviour that is divorced from respect and entails an insult to Turkey. That is how I view the matter. I do not know how he views the matter from his angle. I am not registering an emotional stand here, but I am on the side of justice. A politician must act honestly. He should have abided by his word, but instead of that, what happened on Saturday, 27 December 2008? Regrettably, he began to bombard the Gaza Strip from the air. As you know, 180 people were killed on the first day, and more than 300 were wounded. Is not that a human tragedy by all standards? I cannot as a human being first and as a responsible prime minister be patient or tolerate this matter or just watch. That is because I always put myself in their place and think how will I behave under such bombardment and what will happen to me. Therefore that gives me the incentive to do my duty and to act on behalf of myself and my people. We are facing a crime against humanity, because Israel is using excessive force. Those on the other side do not possess so much strength.
»From time to time, the Israelis use the pretext that the Palestinians fire rockets at them. I asked them: How many Israelis were killed as a result of those rockets? I did not get an answer.
»Therefore, with the conditions I have explained and with all that excessive force, you attack the Gaza Strip and all your excuse is the issue of the rockets only? Why all that exaggeration? This argument is not convincing for me. On the other hand, the results of all that violent Israeli attack are apparent and clear to everyone. Gaza city is finished. All its utilities and building have been demolished. Israel had done that in other areas of Palestine in the past. It destroyed the cultivation and killed the population, and no one called it to account for what it had done. Indeed, it did not implement any of the UNSC resolutions on this matter, because no one takes it to task for violating international law.
»Here I would like to emphasize one important matter. You remember well the events in Georgia and South Ossetia. At the time, everyone intervened immediately: the United Nations, America, the EU, NATO, and we also acted. However, today, do you see anyone acting for the sake of Gaza? All what happened is that I made a quick visit to neighbouring Arab states in order to assess the situation? However, you do not see a real and effective effort by governments and international organizations. Indeed, there are those who say that the Israeli operations are in self-defence. How can anyone say that? On the basis of what argument and what concept can they say that? You cannot convince us of that at all. If we were convinced that Israel is on the right we would not have hesitated to stand on its side. I have blamed Israel, and it certainly is not on the right, but it is repeating a historic error.
Al-Sharif — «You have just returned from a tour of four Arab states -the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria, and Jordan -and you have also met with the Palestinian [National] Authority [PNA] president, and the delegation accompanying you has met with the head of Hamas's Political Bureau, Khalid Mish'al, in Damascus. What did you achieve by that tour and what conclusions can you make as a result?»
Erdogan — […] «…Of course, we all wished that Hamas would have returned to the negotiating table in order to extend the period of calm. Certainly that would have been better. However, that is a different matter. Maintaining the siege and attempting to exert pressure on the inhabitants of Gaza by starving them, preventing the delivery of medical and humanitarian aid to them, and making trucks wait for long periods at the border crossings, have all made the situation in the Gaza Strip intolerable. The government there was also under great pressure because it was required to provide the needs of the people who elected it.
»Therefore I renew from here my request to Israel to cease fire, because Israel can enter a stage from which it will be difficult to backtrack. Second, the siege must be lifted. If that takes place we can move towards bringing about Palestinian national reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. In order to achieve that reconciliation, personal considerations should be completely shunned, and then the decisions on electing the [PNA] president and the Palestinian Legislative Council should be made. After that everyone must this time respect the results of the election. We in Turkey are ready to help within that framework so as to achieve what I mentioned.
»Egypt was the first to take that path and we stand by Egypt and help it. I believe we can influence Hamas because Hamas has a kind of a lack of confidence in some sides. We can work with Hamas to restore that lost confidence and here we must stop looking for a guilty side. Some people say Iran or Syria is obstructing reconciliation. We must put such talk aside, and we must focus on reaching an agreement so that we do not have to stand and watch the death of more people. Some people come out and say Hamas is responsible and has paved the way for this result. That is unacceptable and impermissible talk. We must concentrate on those who are being killed every day. There are hundreds of wounded who are unable to reach the hospitals and are suffering a great deal.»
Al-Sharif — «When US President-elect Barack Obama was elected, there was an atmosphere of optimism and hope that the new US administration will perhaps give greater attention to the peace process in the region. However, Barack Obama has remained silent on what has happened in the Gaza Strip. Has that caused you a degree of disappointment regarding the stand of the US President-elect?
Erdogan — […] «However, the situation is now different from what it was when Obama was elected, but we must realize that Obama's term in office has not begun yet. We must wait until 20 January 2009 when he will take office...
[...] »We are expecting a great deal from the Obama Administration because, regrettably, the present administration of Mr Bush did not take the appropriate stand on the events in the Gaza Strip, for he came out to justify the operation by saying: “It is in self-defence.” What was even more annoying was his statement: “Bomb Hamas's police stations, but avoid civilians.” Does he know where police stations are located? Are the police stations in an empty desert? Those police stations are inside the city and among the houses, and it is not possible to bomb them from the air without causing big losses in the lives of innocent civilians: women and children. That means President Bush's advisers for Middle East affairs do not know anything about the region. They talk about it on the basis of maps only, and human beings do not appear on the maps. Therefore that US stand has disturbed us very much.»
Il est difficile de ne pas voir également dans ces déclarations une affirmation politique claire. C’est l’évidence lorsque, par ailleurs dans l’interview, Erdogan remarque: «When I say Israel has insulted Turkey I mean a great deal which Israel should read between the lines. I believe Israel understands what I say and what I mean.» D’autre part, le soin avec lequel Erdogan sépare l’administration Obama de la “politique” des restes de l’administration Bush dans l’actuelle crise indique que la Turquie attend un très net changement de la politique US vis-à-vis d’Israël.
Les Turcs semblent persuadés que le facteur intérieur (élections israéliennes) a joué un rôle important dans le comportement d’Israël dans le déclenchement de la crise («People cannot be killed for the sake of an election campaign. I consider this offensive an Israeli election campaign and that is a very serious matter.») Cela implique une approche “minimaliste” de la crise, débarrassée des hypothèses de montages, complots et plans à long terme (sauf, bien entendu, ceux de l’état-major israélien, éternellement occupé à préparer ses plans de conquête), qui correspond assez bien à ce qu’on perçoit du climat politique et de la déroute générale des grandes ambitions impériales des néo-conservateurs et de tout ce qui va avec. Les Turcs constituent un point de stabilité remarquable dans la région, avec une vison politique très large, qui tient compte de nombreux facteurs de différentes zones et de différentes approches. Le seul fait qu’ils soient en train de s’aliéner la Turquie, comme le laisse durement entendre Erdogan, est une indication suffisante de la pauvreté et de la faiblesse de l’actuelle politique israélienne.
Mis en ligne le 8 janvier 2009 à 12H38