On Tuesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu revealed that Israeli President Isaac Herzog will visit Ankara next March, which is expected to witness the appointment of special representatives for both countries and the normalization of relations between the two countries by taking steps from both sides.
The features of the return of official relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv have become clear over the past months, amid what can be described as “warm statements” from both sides.
In a meeting of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with members of the Turkish Jewish community and members of the “Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic Countries”, last December, he said that he pays attention to the dialogue that has been revived again, whether with the Israeli President or Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
At that time, Erdogan drew attention to the vital importance of Turkish-Israeli relations in the security and stability of the region.
This was not only the first indication of the return of relations between the two countries. At the end of November last year, Erdogan renewed his country’s desire to improve relations with Israel and Egypt, in response to a journalist’s question about relations with Cairo and Tel Aviv.
And things seemed more open with Turkey releasing an Israeli couple it had held for nearly a week on suspicion of spying, which Israel denied.
Following that step, the Israeli prime minister called the Turkish president, thanking him for releasing the couple, in the first contact at this level between the two countries since 2013.
The deterioration of relations between Tel Aviv and Ankara is due to the Israeli military campaign on the Gaza Strip in 2008, which reached the point of further rupture after the Israeli navy’s interception of the “Freedom Flotilla” in May 2012.
However, the fluctuation in relations remained the master of the situation. At the time when Turkey announced the resumption of diplomatic relations with Israel in 2016, tension returned again as a result of Turkey’s position on the Israeli military operations in Gaza, and since then diplomatic relations have become at the level of charge d’affaires.
Bashir Abdel-Fattah, an expert on Turkish affairs at the Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies, said that the official understandings between Tel Aviv and Ankara will lead to the re-engineering of regional relations in one way or another, paving the way for broader opportunities for rapprochement.
And “the Palestinian issue will be the point that will form the basis for the relations between the two countries,” according to Abdel Fattah, who spoke to “Sky News Arabia,” saying that “Turkey will try to balance its relationship with Israel with the Palestinian side by pressuring Tel Aviv to take steps regarding the operation.” Peace”.
This is what Mevlut Cavusoglu said by saying that the normalization of Turkish-Israeli relations may contribute to strengthening Turkey’s role in reaching a two-state solution, stressing his country’s adherence to some constants and principles, including the two-state solution.
The expert on Turkish affairs added that “this rapprochement may lead to achieving regional stability and resolving some files and crises that witnessed tension between the two sides.”
Abdel Fattah said that the return of relations is dictated by the interests of both parties at the same time, as “Erdogan is certain that positive and constructive relations with the West and the United States cannot be maintained without strong relations with Israel,” noting that intelligence, security, military and economic cooperation is very important between The two sides, and “the continuation of the dispute meant placing Turkey in international and regional isolation at a high cost in conjunction with the Corona pandemic and the confusion of the Turkish economy.”
Abdel-Fattah stressed that “the goal of restoring relations is to restore economic and technological benefits, and the second thing is to improve Turkey’s relations with Europe, the United States and NATO, given that Israel is the mediator in this relationship.”
Turkey was the first country in the region and the Islamic world to recognize Israel and establish diplomatic and economic relations with it, since 1949.
The two countries concluded a military cooperation agreement since the mid-nineties, and since then coordination is taking place in regional relations between them, despite the differences that have emerged during the past years.
Settlement of differences
According to the expert on Turkish affairs, Karam Saeed, there are a number of indications that Turkey has moved towards improving its relationship with Israel since the past months, on top of which is the recent increase in the momentum of contacts between the two countries. Israel in non-traditional fields.
Saeed explained in an interview with “Sky News Arabia” that among these indications is Erdogan’s hosting of members of the Turkish Jewish community and the alliance of rabbis in Islamic countries, which came to stress that Turkish-Israeli relations are crucial to the stability and security of the region, and that dialogue between the two countries must be revived.
A few days ago, the Turkish Foreign Ministry commemorated the Holocaust victims who were systematically killed by the Nazi regime and its collaborators, according to an official statement.
The expert on Turkish affairs said, “This statement was also an indication of openness to Israel,” noting that cooperation between Tel Aviv and Ankara is linked to adapting to geopolitical changes in the region. with a number of countries in the region.
He pointed out that the restoration of relations is linked to the criticism leveled in earlier times by the Turkish opposition to Erdogan that he was the cause of Turkey’s relations with a number of regional and international powers, and thus the latter seeks to settle all these crises and intensify cooperation with neighboring countries.