By Gareth H. Jenkins (vol. 4, no. 17 of the Turkey Analyst)
On September 2, 2011, Turkey downgraded its diplomatic ties with Israel from ambassadorial to second secretary level and suspended all bilateral military agreements between the two countries. On September 8, 2011, in an interview on Al Jazeera, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan vowed that Turkey would provide naval escorts for any future attempts by Turkish aid vessels to breach the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza. He also warned that Turkey would “prevent Israel from unilaterally exploiting the natural resources of the eastern Mediterranean.”
By Barry Rubin (vol. 2, no. 19 of the Turkey Analyst)
The Turkey-Israel alliance is over. After more than two decades of close cooperation, the Turkish government is no longer interested in maintaining close cooperation with Israel. Nor is it—for all practical purposes—willing to do anything much to maintain its good relations with Israel. The absence of any substantial, public criticism in Turkey of the Turkish government’s break with Israel does suggest the Turkish-Israeli relationship lacked deeper roots in Turkish society, and hence the potential to become a permanent one.
By Micha’el Tanchum (vol. 7, no. 2 of the Turkey Analyst)
In late December 2013, Turkey took a major step in altering the naval balance in the eastern Mediterranean by contracting the construction of a multi-purpose amphibious assault ship that can function as an aircraft carrier, potentially providing Turkey an unprecedented measure of sea control in the region. The heightened threat perception for Israel, Cyprus, and Greece will impact the imminent decision whether Israel will export its natural gas to a planned Cypriot LNG terminal with a European export route through Greece or build a subsea pipeline to Turkey. Turkey’s next diplomatic moves could make the difference between a comprehensive regional agreement for a Turkish export route for eastern Mediterranean off-shore energy or a naval arms race which Turkey economically cannot win.
By John Daly (vol. 6, no. 23 of the Turkey Analyst)
While the Islamist ideology of Turkey’s ruling party makes it unlikely that the relations between Turkey and Israel can be restored in a way that fulfills the expectations of the United States, there are also some signs that suggest that something of a working relation between Jerusalem and Ankara, based on mutual economic interests, can still be established. Trade can potentially serve as an ice-breaker between the two nations.
The Turkey Analyst is a publication of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute & Silk Road Studies Joint Center, designed to bring authoritative analysis and news on the rapidly developing domestic and foreign policy issues in Turkey. It includes topical analysis, as well as a summary of the Turkish media debate.