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How Erdogan’s Israeli gambit may cost him Islamist support

For the first time, the Islamist opposition is raising its voice loudly against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, decrying the normalization agreement with Israel.
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators wave Turkish and Palestinian flags as they await the return of the expelled activists from Israel to Turkey, in downtown Istanbul late June 2, 2010. Israel began expelling all activists seized during a raid on an aid convoy sailing to Gaza that has drawn international outrage and officials on Wednesday vowed to prevent any other ships from reaching the coastal territory. Israel had said it would deport 682 activists from more than 35 countries taken into custody after the marit

Turkey's president made a startling reversal this week in one of his long-held stances on a touchy subject, firing up Islamists who were already unhappy with the country's recent rapprochement with Israel.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had always defended Turkey's role in the disastrous Mavi Marmara incident in 2010, in which an aid flotilla attempted to breach Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip. Erdogan described Israel's actions as terrorism, recited the Quran for the flotilla victims at gatherings and criticized his domestic opponents frequently for not standing up against Israel. In July 2014, he spoke at a dinner and said, “If they [Mavi Marmara organizers] needed permission from an authority, we gave them permission.”

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