Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan announced on Wednesday that he plans to visit Gaza next week.  The move comes as foreign policy analysts  and journalists  are pointing to the negative effect that Erdogan’s “bombast” toward Israel has had on Ankara’s prestige and influence. Erdogan’s criticism of Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense, which included accusations by the Prime Minister of Israeli terrorism and ethnic cleansing , led the U.S. State Department to openly and explicitly rebuke  its NATO ally. Erdogan’s visit to Gaza will likely be seen as a pro-Hamas gesture during a time when the Iran-backed terror group is competing with its Western-backed Fatah rivals for credibility, and will in that context not contribute to easing tensions between Turkey and Western nations opposed to Hamas.
[Photo: Martin H. / Wiki Commons ]