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Jun-12-2010 03:31printcomments

Israel recalls drone specialists from Batman, Turkey

The Turkish military’s potential inability to use the drones may be viewed as a sort of punishment.

Heron drone
Heron drone

(ISTANBUL) - Today’s edition of the Turkish newspaper Zaman reports that Israel has recalled its Heron drone operators from the southeast Turkish city of Batman, where they had been training Turkish officers on the unmanned aircraft. The action occurs in the wake of the deadly May 31 attack on the Mavi Marmara and ensuing diplomatic crisis between the two nations.

In 2005, Turkey agreed to purchase 10 Heron drones from Israel at a total price of nearly 190 million dollars. Following a delay of over 2 years, 6 of the promised aircraft were delivered to Turkey earlier this year. According to Zaman, the removal of the Israeli operators at this particular time, before the Turkish officers have completed their training, appears to be driven by more than mere concern for the operators’ safety. As infiltrations and attacks by “terrorists”—i.e. Kurdish separatists—along Turkey’s southern border tend to peak during the summer months, the Turkish military’s potential inability to use the drones may be viewed as a sort of punishment.

As for the state-sponsored terrorism of which Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused Israel, the withdrawal of the operators may save Turkey from the hypocrisy of employing Israeli-manufactured weaponry test driven on the very population the Turkish humanitarian activists murdered on the Mavi Marmara were endeavoring to help.

Belén is a feature writer at Pulse Media. Her articles also have appeared in CounterPunch, Narco News, Palestine Chronicle, Palestine Think Tank, Rebelión, Tlaxcala, The Electronic Intifada, Upside Down World, and Her book “Coffee with Hezbollah,” a humorous political travelogue chronicling her hitchhiking trip through Lebanon in the aftermath of the 2006 Israeli assault, is available at Amazon, Amazon UK, and Barnes and Noble.

Born in Washington, DC, in 1982, Belén earned her bachelor's degree with a concentration in political science from Columbia University in New York City. Her diverse background of worldwide experiences, created a fantastic writer; one whose work we are extremely happy to share with viewers. You can contact Belén at:

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.