Turkey wants back in with Israel, but is it willing to pay the price of admission? Wisam Hashlamoun/FLASH90
Middle East

Restoring Turkish-Israeli Relations: 3 Incentives and 3 Obstacles

Erdogan wants to be back in the good graces of Israel the US, but is he willing to pay the price of admission?

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Statements issued by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in the final days of 2020 regarding the possibility of resuming relations with Israel raised several questions about timing, goals and opportunities.

Erdogan wants to present a goodwill gesture to the new US administration, based on the belief that Washington can be reached via Tel Aviv.

Turkey and Israel expelled one another’s ambassadors in May 2018, against the backdrop of the killing of dozens of Palestinians as a mob attempted to breach the Gaza Strip border fence. But even before that, the two nations had experienced mounting bilateral tension, sparked by the events surrounding the 2010 Gaza “freedom” flotilla. Despite the flotilla, economic and intelligence cooperation between Turkey and Israel had continued as usual.

 

A way to get closer to the Biden White House

US President Joe Biden is seen as a staunch opponent of Erdogan, and before becoming president threatened to make the Turkish regime pay a heavy price for certain of its more repressive policies.

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