National media seek Henri Barkey’s opinion on flotilla raid

Henri Barkey, an expert on the international relations of the Middle East, especially Turkey, has been featured widely in the national media since a May 31 raid by the Israeli navy on a Turkish ship carrying aid and activists to Gaza.

In a column titled “Turkey emerges as Middle East leader,” which was posted June 3 at, Barkey said evidence suggested that Turkey’s governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) was “fully supportive” of the Islamist charity that organized a flotilla to challenge Israel’s blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza.

“Turkey has…used its increasingly rancorous disputes with Israel to advance its status in the Middle East at the expense of traditional leaders across the region,” Barkey wrote.

At the same time, he added, the “incompetence of Israeli decision-makers… in many ways handed the AKP, [Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdogan and Hamas a public relations victory.”

On June 1, Barkey was quoted in a New York Times article titled “Turkish Funds Helped Group Test Blockade.”

On May 31, he was interviewed by National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” for a segment called “Raid Strains Israeli-Turkish Relations.”

Barkey also took part in a discussion of the flotilla incident on C-SPAN.
Barkey, the Bernard L. and Bertha F. Cohen Professor of international relations, is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He is co-author, with Graham Fuller, of Turkey’s Kurdish Question and editor of Reluctant Neighbor: Turkey’s Role in the Middle East.