Turkey and Israel in Talks

The results are yet unclear, but Israel and Turkey are making efforts to mend or at least contain their rift.

Aryeh Ben Hayim , | updated: 10:01 AM

Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan

According to various sources, Israel and Turkey are engaged in direct secret talks with American encouragement in an attempt to restore normal relations.

Netanyahu sent a congratulatory message to Erdogan on his re-election. He was quoted in the Turkish Zaman, a pro-Islamic newspaper that supports the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Prime Minister Erdogan, saying

 “My government will be happy to work with the new Turkish government on finding a resolution to all outstanding issues between our countries, in the hope of re-establishing our cooperation and renewing the spirit of friendship which has characterized the relations between our peoples for many generations.”

A harbinger of the attempt to improve relations was the Turkish pullout from the forthcoming Gaza flotilla.

A few theories suggest themselves to explain why the Turkish government is in a more benevolent mood.

  • The elections in Turkey are over and the AKP has gotten all the mileage it can from the anti-Israeli policy.
  • Turkey has seen in Libya and currently in Syria that a pro-Arab policies not always a bed of roses. In Libya, Turkey lost  investments. Syrian refugees fleeing the Assad regime have crossed over into Turkey.
  • Syria also raised the issue of what  the major humanitarian crisis really is – Gaza or Syria
  • Israel, according to Hurriyet , an opposition daily , announced that the Turkish Red Crescent Society had been given permission to take in all the necessary medical material required to Gaza through the Erez crossing point.