While Israel and some of its Arab neighbors are growing closer, relations between the Jewish state and its traditional Turkish allies appear to have grown increasingly hostile.
Israelis this week were shocked by a report in the Washington Post that revealed Turkey had earlier this year deliberately blown the cover of at least 10 Iranians supplying information to Israel.
Much of the contact between Israel’s Mossad spy agency and the Iranian agents took place in Turkey, which for the past 50 years had acted as an ally to the Jewish state in intelligence matters.
According to the report, the purposeful leak was made by Turkish intelligence chief Hakan Fidan with the direct approval of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Despite the traitorous nature of the act and the resulting tremendous loss of vital intelligence, the US did not protest the move and continued to work with Fidan and the Turks.
Israeli-Turkish relations have been going downhill ever since the election of Erdogan’s Islamic government in 2003. Prior to that, Turkey’s military had closely guarded a more secular brand of democracy and nationalism.
While Erdogan recently made what he labeled as democratic reforms, Israeli experts explained that the Turkish leader’s idea of democracy is very Islamic in flavor.
“These moves could be viewed as part of Erdogan’s ongoing efforts to undo the Kemalist [secular] state,” Dror Zeevi, a lecturer on Turkish history at Ben Gurion University, told the Times of Israel. “Erdogan is advancing his own agenda.”
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