Turkey and Israel - is an alliance possible?
At present, relations between the two regional powers, Israel and Turkey can be described as tense, the main reason for the cooling of relations, these are disagreements over the problem of Palestine. The reason for the complication of relations was the famous attack of the Israeli special forces on the so-called. Freedom Flotilla - 31 May 2010 of the year during an armed clash on the ship Mavi Marmara nine Turkish citizens were killed by fighters of the Шajetet-13 unit.
Then Ankara allowed herself to make a number of harsh statements: for example, the head of the Turkish government, Tayyip Erdogan, accused Israel of the gross violation of international law and of state terrorism. In addition, there is a persistent hostility towards Jewry in Turkish society - a surge of anti-Jewish sentiment occurred during the war in Lebanon in 2006, the Israeli armed forces held in December 2008 - January 2009, Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. In Turkish society, according to public opinion polls that were conducted in 2007 — 2009, there is a significant level of xenophobia in Turkey: for example, 64% of Turks would not like to see Jews as their neighbors, 76% of the polled Turkish citizens treat Jews negatively and only 7% are positively.
A very negative signal for Israel is the “purge” of the army, which was dominated by supporters of the secular path of development of Turkey and the preservation of allied relations with Israel. Obviously, the recent sensational resignation of the entire military leadership of Turkey is also associated with this process: due to disagreements with Erdogan (which are not reported), the chief of the Turkish General Staff and the commanders of the Land Forces, Air Force and Navy sent to resign. Ankara is increasingly moving towards the Islamization of society, the project "Ottoman Empire - 2" is becoming more and more popular.
Raising the Palestinian issue, Turkey has repeatedly criticized the leadership of Israel for the plight of the population in the Palestinian territories, which was caused by their partial or complete blockade by the Israeli army. Ankara’s extreme disapproval was also caused by border incidents that occurred in the so-called Nakba Day (the Arabs call Israel’s Independence Day). According to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, the Palestinians were again forced to mark Nakba Day with blood and tears due to the unjustified use of force by the Israeli military. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also expressed his views on the problem of Palestine, Davutoglu called inadmissible killings of civilians and called on Israel to completely lift the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Ankara stresses the need to recognize the legitimate Palestinian government, which includes representatives of a recognized terrorist organization, the Hamas group.
Jerusalem, for its part, reports the need for tough measures against Palestinian terrorists, which is quite logical in the light of the constant rocket attacks on Sderot and Ashkelon. In addition, Jerusalem is irritated by the reconciliation of two rival Palestinian movements for power, Hamas and Fatah.
Another issue that spoils Turkish-Israeli relations, hindering their possible strategic partnership, is the Kurdish question. The problem of the Kurds, given their number in Turkey, is very painful for Ankara, since it can lead to significant territorial losses in the long run. That is why Turkey was so active in the Kurdish areas of neighboring Iraq and is closely eyeing the events in Syria. Israel is trying to use the "Kurdish card" in its own interests, back in 1977-1983, during the Israeli premiere of Begin, Israeli military advisers operated in the territory of Kurdistan. Kurds to Israel are interesting because they have common enemies - Iran, Syria, formerly Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. Helping the Kurds, Israel diverts the attention of the Arabs and the Persians to them. In the 2003 year, when the US attacked Iraq, and it became clear that the Iraqi American campaign was dragging on, Ariel Sharon (Israeli Prime Minister in 2001-2006) made an important decision - to strengthen military and economic relations with the Kurds. Currently, Israel is cautious about the Kurdish issue, trying not to arouse Ankara’s anger.
It is clear that, in general, Israel is interested in the "Turkish window" when there are hostile Arab states around. Thus, in June 2011 of the year Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent T. Erdogan a personal message, in which the head of the Israeli government expressed hope for the normalization of relations between the powers. Israel and Turkey currently have an excellent opportunity to normalize relations, develop a common strategy, at least for the near future - this is the situation in Syria. So, Syria, de jure, has been at war with Israel since 1973, being an ally of Jerusalem’s main enemy, Iran. Ankara has its own reasons regarding Syria: this is the Kurdish question in Syria, the unrest in Syria causes serious concerns among the Turks; there is a territorial issue between them. Damascus has so far refused to recognize the accession to Turkey of Alexanderttskogo Sanjak (the historical name of the region adjacent to the city of Alexandrette, within the composition of Turkey is the city of Iskenderun, in the province of Hatay). In 1936, France, which after the First World War had a mandate for Syria, included the Alexandretti Sanjak to Syria, with the rights of autonomy. Turkey claimed its rights to it, in 1937, this territory was transferred to the joint administration of France and Turkey. In the 1938 year, with the consent of Paris, Turkey sent its troops to the Sandret of Alexandretta, the French withdrew their troops from this territory, after that they created the autonomous state of Hatay, which was annexed to Turkey in June 1939. With this act, Paris, with the consent of London, paid for Turkey’s accession to the Anglo-French alliance - the Anglo-Turkish-French agreement 1939 of the year was concluded. This deal at the expense of Syria caused repeated protests by the Syrian government and the Syrian society. Damascus still considers this territory its. In addition, there are disputes between Syria and Turkey over the use of the Euphrates River.
It is still not clear which path Ankara will take in the new geopolitical reality that is taking shape in the region. Turkey can join the anti-Israeli coalition, in alliance with Iran and Syria. And maybe go to rapprochement with Israel, at least temporary, to resolve the issue with Syria.
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