Israel-Turkey relations | The Times of Israel
Today, Turkey-Israel relations are witnessing a new crisis after more the protests by Turkey or any other country against Israel's terrorism. Until the Mavi Marmara incident in , Turkey-Israel ties For logistical reasons, foreign trade is usually conducted with a country's nearest. Without a shift in Turkey's economic connections to Israel, Ankara's fiery to European markets keen to wean themselves off Russia's supply.
Everyone knows that my criticism [of Israel] focuses on some critical issues. An official statement by the Israeli government said that Netanyahu expressed regret over deterioration in bilateral relations and described the incident as unintentional, regretful and—according to an investigation—involving "operational errors".
Erdogan later issued a statement, where he accepted the apology on behalf of the Turkish people. President Barack Obama, whose visit to Israel coincided with the development and who was credited with brokering the reconciliation, said that the U.
Democracy is not only elections, it is also values I will urge the prevention of [the Muslim Brotherhood] coming to power, but by all sorts of means. Among those killed were two dual Israel-US nationals and one Israeli national. Following the attack Erdogan wrote a letter of condolences to Israeli President Reuven Rivlinsaying he was "very sorry" to hear that three Israelis were killed and 10 wounded in the attack.
On 21 March, Gold thanked the Turkish government for what it did in the aftermath of the attack and underlined the need for an alliance in the fight against terror.
It helped us to get through any bureaucracy in the Turkish hospitals and bring the wounded as well as deceased back home to Israel. The Turkish Parliament will pass a law canceling all appeals against Israeli soldiers involved in the killing of nine Turkish citizens during the Gaza flotilla raid and will also block any future claims. Commitment to stop terrorist or military activity against Israel on Turkish soil including funding and aid to such activities from Turkey.
Palestinian movement Hamas will be allowed to operate on Turkish soil but only as a political movement. Turkey will accept to send all aid to the Gaza Strip through Israel and then from Israel to Gaza on land. The money will be transferred through a humanitarian fund in Turkey. An Israel official said the money will be transferred only after the Turkish parliament will pass the law renouncing all appealings against Israeli soldiers involved in the incident.
The two countries will start a process of renormalizing their relations, reappointing ambassadors to Ankara and Tel Aviv and ending all sanctions between the two.
The complex, and often toxic, Israel-Turkey relationship - Israel News - Jerusalem Post
I suggest that he not preach morality to us. In addition, he called on the international community and the U. Netanyahu responded that "A man who sends thousands of Turkish soldiers to hold the occupation of northern Cyprus and invades Syria will not preach to us when we defend ourselves from an attempted infiltration by Hamas.
He also added that Turkey has been providing all legal assistance to the state of Palestine to this end. Ina double-taxation prevention treaty went into effect. A bilateral investment treaty was signed in Chemicals and oil distillates are the primary exports. John Moore, Turkish Rear Adm.
Ismail Taylan, Israeli Rear Adm. Rom Rutberg Annual U. Agreements have included air, sea, land and intelligence cooperation, manufacturing of aircraft, armaments and missiles, mutual military visits, training and exercises, dispatch of observers to oversee military exercises, staff exchanges and military know-how.
Agreed in principle by Israel; approval by the United States pending. The agreement provided exchange of pilots eight times a year; allowed Israeli pilots to practice "long range flying over mountainous land" in Turkey's Konya firing range; and permitted Turkish pilots to train at Israel's computerized firing range at the Nevatim airfield.
In Septembermilitary agreements between Turkey and Israel were suspended. Turkey has frozen 16 defense contracts worth billions of dollars since March Turkey suspended a 5 billion dollar deal for 1, Merkava Mk 3 tanks. In fact, Israeli diplomats were fully aware of these sympathies. Professor Zvi Elpeleg, who served as the Israeli ambassador to Ankara from tocharacterized the Turks as extremely sensitive to the plight of the Palestinians. Relations were to a large extent predicated on the Cold War and Turkey's position as a key ally of the Western camp, even though Israel's relations with the United States had evolved from the late s into an intense partnership from the Kennedy administration onward.
In the s, Turkish-Israeli relations were not only becoming more open, but were deepening in all spheres. Arab hostility to Turkey, especially Syrian aid to PKK terrorists, as well as Iran's revolutionary anti-secular policies, coupled with Europe's lukewarm attitude to Turkey, all contributed to Israel's being transformed into a natural ally.
On the other hand, Turkey was a Muslim country with a strong tradition of secularism and Western-oriented policies and identities, especially among the intelligentsia and the civilian-military bureaucracy. These factors were welcomed by Israel, which shared common threat perceptions about Syria and Iran, in particular, and about Islamic radicalism, in general.
Turkish-Israeli relations had been influenced by the larger Arab-Israeli conflict in the past. Turkey downgraded its relations after the Sinai War and after the Knesset passed the Jerusalem Law in Furthermore, Turkey wanted the support of the U. Jewish lobby, especially to counterbalance the influence in Congress of the Greek and Armenian lobbies. At the time, the Armenians were attempting to have Congress recognize the killings of Armenians by the Ottomans during World War I as genocide.
On the other hand, Turkish-Israeli relations had a polarizing impact on Turkish domestic politics, and it worried the neighbors — especially Iran, Iraq and Syria. As far as relations with its Muslim neighbors are concerned, Turkey made a rational calculation that improving ties with Israel served Turkish national interests better. Ironically, however, Syria came to appreciate Turkey's contacts with Israel as potentially useful in helping Syria get the occupied Golan Heights back.
It should be pointed out that, even during times of difficulties, Israelis adopted a pragmatic approach. During his first tenure as prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu had to face Necmettin Erbakan, who became Turkey's first Islamist prime minister in Netanyahu sent him a congratulatory letter on the historical affinities between the Jewish and Turkish peoples, and the hospitality of the Ottoman Empire to the oppressed Jews from Spain in In fact, on the th anniversary of this event, Israeli President Chaim Herzog was among the participants at Dolmabahce Palace in Istanbul.
Netanyahu concluded his letter by saying Israel wanted "peace with the entire Muslim World," and that he was ready to meet Erbakan at his earliest convenience.
Furthermore, there were also warm feelings towards Israel, especially at the Foreign Ministry and in the military during the s. Relations were very much a function of strategic and political considerations, with the caveat that public sympathies towards the Palestinians needed to be taken into consideration. Endeavors to solve the Palestinian issue legitimized Turkish-Israeli relations in the eyes of the Turkish public.
However, the eruption of the Second Intifada in and subsequent clashes between Israelis and Palestinians demonstrated an implicit correlation between progress on Palestinian-Israeli peacemaking and Turkish-Israeli relations.
The complex, and often toxic, Israel-Turkey relationship
Even if there is no direct causality between a demand to resolve the Palestinian question and improvement of Turkish-Israeli relations, amelioration of the situation would positively impact bilateral relations.
Throughout the s and early s, the Israeli air force was training in Turkey for its long-range missions. Following the offensive against Hamas and the deterioration in Israeli-Turkish relations, Ankara has refused to allow Israel to deploy its fighter jets in Turkey.
It should also be mentioned that the climax of the downfall of the relationship was the Mavi Marmara incident of May 31,when an Islamist civil-society organization, called terrorists by a number of Israelis, torpedoed Turkish-Israeli relations. However, it should be added that, according to one analyst, "Political leaders in Turkey and Israel are mixing politics and personal sentiments" and pursuing policies against the national interests of their respective countries.
Israeli President Shimon Peres was the first Israeli statesman to address the Turkish parliament, in Furthermore, visits by the respective defense ministers in are noteworthy.
These webs of mutual visits and the lack of them sincecoupled with a decrease in Israeli tourists to Turkey fromin toin ,11 are a function of the downgrading of relations. One might label this drop in Israeli tourists an unofficial boycott, rising perhaps from fear or protesting Turkish policies toward Israel. Despite the cooling of the relationship, trade between the two countries has risen. In Maythe "Gaza Freedom Flotilla" sailed toward the Gaza Strip to break the embargo imposed by Israel and bring humanitarian assistance to the Gazans.
In total, there were eight ships, but one had mechanical difficulties and another was late. Nine Turks died and numerous activists and Israeli soldiers were injured. The Human Rights Council of the United Nations called the interception of the flotilla "unlawful," labeling its actions crimes, including willful killing and torture, and charging Israel with the use of excessive, unnecessary and disproportionate force.
In fact, there were five Israeli citizens, including member of the Knesset Haneen Zouabi and Sheikh Raed Saleh from the Islamist movement in Israel, who were also interrogated by the Israeli authorities. Having said that, however, the fact that there were no firearms on the ship and no threat to the Israeli soldiers13 makes the Israeli reactions to the Mavi Marmara unreasonable.
In retrospect, both governments mishandled the crisis: Both countries have lost from this fiasco. Israeli leaders claimed that they perceived the activists on the Mavi Marmara to be government-supported, violent, armed Islamist militants.
On the other hand, labeling and perceiving them to be terrorists made the defense of Israel essential — hence the harsh reaction. It was also striking that the order to attack was given by Minister of Defense Ehud Barak.
He was the sympathetic prime minister during the devastating earthquake in Turkey in who personally visited Turkey to open the Israel-Turkey village built for the victims of the earthquake.
However, the IHH's dispatching of the ships and the subsequent killings have destroyed relations for a long time to come. The report found that the flotilla acted recklessly in trying to breach the naval blockade, and although the flotilla participants had "no violent intentions, there exist serious questions about the conduct, true nature and objective of the flotilla organizers, particularly IHH.
Despite the fact that there was violent resistance from Mavi Marmara, the "loss of life was unacceptable. However, it concluded that there was no proof any of the deceased possessed firearms,29 and that the loss of life was unacceptable. He said he had killed a "terrorist" who was about to shoot at another soldier.
Columnist Amos Harel argued that the incident was a failure for the Israeli government, as Israel's Gaza policy was reversed and its relations with Turkey were damaged. Standing in front of the building, IHH chairman Bulent Yildirim said the case was not against the Jewish nation, but against Zionists and murderers.
He added that, if Jews had lived in Gaza and faced similar persecution by Muslims, they would have tried to break the siege, too. He also questioned Israel's right to exist on occupied Palestinian territory. While the Turkish foreign ministry said it was not a party to the trial, this process is bound to negatively affect Turkish-Israeli relations for some time to come. He referred to the "spirit of Sarajevo," emphasizing centuries of coexistence among Jews, Christians and Muslims, and Serbs, Croats and Bosnians — adding that he considered Sarejevo the Jerusalem of the Balkans.
There were also cities transformed by numerous civilizations such as Istanbul,43 referring to its Byzantine and Ottoman past. He also presented Turkey as the protector of underdogs, such as the Palestinians, and noted the example of an African president, without naming him, who had requested Turkey's intercession to be represented at a G meeting.
There is nostalgia for the Ottoman past, though this worldview does not entail an expansionist foreign policy for Turkey. Nationalism is very weak among JDP cadres. A highly sympathetic journalist who has also written his biography characterizes the JDP not as Islamist but "aiming to balance between different worlds.
This policy was made possible by the rise of a conservative Anatolian bourgeoisie whose economic liberalism formed the backbone of the JDP,47 starting with its companies, subsidies to media outlets and promotion of schools.
From the s and s, there was a sense among Turks that Turkish and Muslim peoples in the former territories of the Ottoman Empire were discriminated against by the West. The "Bosnian genocide" and rejection by the EU were the catalysts for this neo-Ottoman identity,48 later shared and built upon by the JDP cadres.
Consequently, Turkish foreign policy became more sensitive to the demands of the masses, which have always been skeptical about relations with Israel.