Under the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government Turkey’s foreign policy toward the Middle East has undergone profound changes, which were, in turn, the outcome of various domestic and regional developments. These changes altered Turkey’s threat perceptions and its new understanding of its role in the region, and led to a redefinition of who its appropriate regional partners were. The two most important determinants of the change were the advent to power of the AKP in 2002 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. The fact that the two events occurred almost simultaneously contributed significantly to Turkey’s evolving new vision regarding the Middle East.
Altercating Interests and Orientations between Israel and Turkey: A View from Israel
This essay analyzes the relationship between Turkey and Israel against the background of the AKP ascent to power in Turkey in 2002 and the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It argues that notwithstanding the sea changes that occurred in the region following the invasion, as well as the far-reaching changes in Turkey’s foreign policy, both states still have vested interests in maintaining their close relationship, even at times of crisis. One of the most important explanations for their relations’ longevity is that the two states have no serious problems on the bilateral level, while their strategic, economic and societal common interests have been strong enough to weather crises. The paper also explores the implications for the future of the Turkish-Israeli relationship of Turkey’s policy during Israel’s operations against Hamas in Gaza.
The quality of Israeli-Turkish relations will undoubtedly continue to be affected by the course of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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