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Turkey _ Israel normalization: Ukraine war is a new window

After a long break between Israel and Turkey, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu arrived in Tel Aviv, the first visit of a Turkish minister since 2007.

This visit took place 15 years after the last visit of a Turkish official, comes two and a half months after Israeli President Yitzhak Herzog visited Ankara and met president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

a meeting between isaac herzog and recep tayyip erdogan in ankara
Israeli president Isaac Herzog and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara

According to Erdogan statements, this endeavor confirmed other statements quoted by Foreign Minister Mevlut Chaouchoglu about arranging for two visits to Israel in early April,

to reappoint ambassadors, and looking at an Eastern Mediterranean gas file.

History of fluctuations in the Israeli-Turkish relationship

It is worth mentioning that the relation between the two countries have been at many points of tension since the break following Israel’s killing of 10 Turkish activists on the Mavi Marmara in May 2010.

Israel's killing of 10 Turkish activists on the Mavi Marmara
mavi marmara attack

Despite the re-normalization of relations, in 2016, the Israeli aggression against the 2008 rallies led to Ankara’s expulsion of the Israeli ambassador, to Tel Aviv’s reciprocal response.

The past periods have not only been characterized by diplomatic and political breakthroughs but have witnessed many statements between the parties, as well as the cessation of intelligence and security coordination between them after having a long history of partnership.

This contrast between the two countries coincided with the subsequent discoveries of the eastern Mediterranean natural gas fields in 2010, estimated at approximately 122.4 trillion cubic feet, mostly within complex geography and disputed water areas.

Russian _ Ukrainian war sparked cooperation

With several countries moving towards normalization with Israel, Ankara found that it would suffer more political isolation as well as isolation in the East Mediterranean.

Turkey sent many positive signals to the Israeli side, including emphasizing the step of exchanging ambassadors through the easing of the escalator’s tone against Israeli practices and even the disposal of some Hamas representatives in Turkey.

More importantly, Erdogan wants to exploit the aftermath of the Ukrainian war in the issue of Russia’s gas to Europe and play a larger role in which Turkey will be a logistical transit center for oil and gas from exporting countries to Europe.

gas dilemma Ukraine - Russia after math
russia shuts gas supplies


Washington and east med gas

The Turkish president here has not forgotten that Washington has taken its hand in support of the East-Mead project in which Israel formed the password.

After the Russian-Ukrainian war, in particular, finding an alternative to Russian gas, but Israel- Turkey’s line cannot play the role of an alternative, its transport capacity may be able to cover 6-12% of the 155 billion cubic meters of gas that Europe imports from Russia per year according to 2021 consumption.

Although last January, the United States showed its uneasiness toward East Med, this does not mean the death of the project.

Washington invoked environmental concerns and potential instability, an implicit reference to Turkey’s exception, but the approach to dealing with the gas file from the environmental perspective, or from the perspective of building peace and stability among the divisions, will retreat from the onset of the Russian-Ukrainian war.

The European national security approach and deterrence policy against Russia will come back to the forefront more than ever, a realistic approach to energy security,

which tends to weigh the option of dealing with technical and economic challenges, with the option of playing in an environment where trust is absent and ravaged by foreign policy fluctuations.

The Israeli press describes turkey‘s visit as “historic”

The visit of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Chaoosh Oglu to Israel represented a further step in the restoration of relations between the two countries, according to Israeli media.

The Israeli newspaper Maariv described the Turkish Foreign Minister’s visit to Israel as “historic.”

The Times of Israel noted that the bilateral meeting of the Turkish and Israeli Foreign Ministers “exceeded the usual allotted time”, referring to progress.

However, political sources in Tel Aviv revealed differences with Ankara regarding the program of Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s visit to Israel.

The sources said that the visit, presumably a step forward in improving relations between the two countries and aimed at resuming full diplomatic relations and returning the ambassadors to Ankara and Tel Aviv, saw disagreements over security arrangements and Turkey’s request that the minister visits Al-Haram Al-Sharif and Al-Aqsa mosque without accompanying Israelis.

Israel tried to justify its position in escorting Oglu as a security issue, but Turkish intelligence considered it a political issue.

The resistance in Gaza is not okay with Turkey!

Erdogan turned from claiming to embrace and resist Gaza, particularly Hamas, with which he has Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimeen roots, into a square of racing with Gulf states for the greatest possible economic and political privileges from normalization.

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in Ankara, Turkey, January 3, 2012.

Erdogan and his government are not embarrassed to claim that what they are doing is in the interest of the Palestinian cause, which does not seem likely to hit Gaza Street, especially Hamas,

which has begun to be ravaged by a widespread outcry over Turkish performance, in the face of changes in its handling by the resistance itself, will not be the latest manifestation of the stranglehold on Palestinian media in the official Turkish media and the attempt to force the beds upon them by threatening and extorting them.

For the Palestinian people, the declared “hoax” ended in the face of pressure from interests and the temptation to invest.

A new series, titled “stupid Claim” , begins, according to activists that the goal of normalizing the relationship with the occupying Power is “to serve the Palestinian cause.”

Rachelle Kayrouz
Lebanese writer, interested and focused on Palestine-Syrian affairs and feminism. I wrote in big Lebanese newspapers and websites, I speak English, Arabic, and French fluently