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The future of Turkish-Israeli relations after apologizing *

*Written by Dr. Saleh Al-Naami - Gaza
April 17, 2013

Israel and Turkey are a step towards reconciliation. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for the death of nine Turks aboard a flotilla to Gaza in 2010, paving the way for normalization of relations. Before going into the reasons for monitoring pessimists to express their opposition to the decision, it is important to note that the nature of bet fans who value this step on its results.

First: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has personally said that the most important factor that led him to apologize to Turkey and Israel need a strong and influential regional party like Turkey to get help to deal with the challenges posed by the events in Syria. Israel launched the assumption that Turkey is interested in cooperating with Israel after losing hope of rapidly falling Assad regime and the continuity of the Syrian crisis has become a source of danger to the national security of Turkey. In this context, they emphasize the possibility of transforming the extreme north-east of Turkey starting point of the PKK against Turkey. And in the same context, there are those in Israel Erdogan is aware that among the Congress and the U.S. administration there are those who strongly criticized his anti-Israel at a time when Turkey needs the United States because of tensions with Greece, Cyprus and Armenia.

Second: the leaders of the Israeli army found that the strategic interests of Tel Aviv had been severely damaged due to tensions with Turkey and Erdogan's decision to freeze all forms of security cooperation and intelligence with Tel Aviv, in addition to no longer conduct joint military exercises and not allow the Israeli army to train in the territories and regional Turkish waters.

What led the military leadership represented by the Presidency of the General Staff of the Israeli army to make a great effort to convince political leaders to do everything possible to close the files tensions with Turkey because that according to the Israeli army, a strategic relationship with the Balkan countries (Greece, Czech Republic, Bulgaria and Romania) did not prove his worth to the hour of trial.

Third, in Israel, there is a hypothesis that the chances of improving relations with Turkey are large because the United States believes that the consolidation of these relationships has a strategic interest. The President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry insisted that the importance of reconciliation because it "will contribute to the advancement of peace and stability in the region.

Fourth: Israel believes it has "temptations" economic might convince Erdogan at the end to improve relations with Israel. At the head of these "temptations" that the gas extracted from the Israeli Mediterranean is transferred through Turkish territory to Europe through a pipeline stretching from Turkey to Europe.

 However, in Israel there are those who see that the betting on the opening of a new page in relations with Turkey are exaggerated, and they stress the following considerations:

1 - There is a fundamental difference in the map of Israeli and Turkish interests in all aspects of the situation in Syria. Israel is betting that Turkey plays an important role in controlling the inventory of weapons of Syria, traditional missiles and long-term, which could be a strategic threat to Israel, while all that Turkey wants is to strengthen northern Syria to prevent it from becoming a starting point for the Kurdish PKK. At the same time, there is a clear movement to encourage each divide Syria to countries with ethnic and sectarian affiliations Israeli orientation, which is not similar to Turkish interests.

2 - There is considerable conflict between Turkey and Israel on issues important to the region, particularly the Iranian nuclear project, where Erdogan rejects the imposition of sanctions against Tehran, as evidenced by the opposition to the idea of using the military option against Iran, in the same context Erdogan requires non-traditional disarmament of all countries in the region, including Israel.

3 - The Israelis excuses cannot put an end to mutual suspicions and the crisis of confidence between the two parties. Even parties who bet on opening a new page has no doubt the character of guidelines Erdogan and his party is considered the "new Ottoman policy" what it means to broaden the circles of influence Turkish in areas that had been part of the Ottoman Empire before the First World War.


The summary

Despite all this, even the most optimistic estimate that the chances of resumption of relations with the Turks to normal are impossible. But there is no doubt that one of the factors underlying the circle of decision in Tel Aviv try to defuse the crisis with Ankara in regional growing stature of Turkey. It is clear that Turkey has become, after Erdogan's arrival in power, the circle of Israel's strategic calculations that take into account before Tel Aviv decided once and for all to military campaigns against the Arab side.




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