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Understanding Turkish-Israeli Rapproachement: Why Now, What Next? 16 avril 2013

Posted by Acturca in Middle East / Moyen Orient, Turkey / Turquie, USA / Etats-Unis.
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EDAM Discussion Paper, 04/2013, 15 April 2013, 15 p.

Can Kasapoglu *

President Obama’s recent visit to Israel was expected to be a very high profile one, but with modest actual outcomes. Many experts shared the view that Obama’s presence in White House has been a positive factor that may foster a rapprochement between Turkey and Israel (despite the very fact that deterioration itself took place in the midst of the President’s first term), thereby, almost everyone was excited by the US-brokered apology that gave hopes of a major restoration between the two democracies of the Middle East, Turkey and Israel. This paper aims to understand the factors, which paved the ground for the Turkish – Israeli rapprochement, and to analyze prospects of further cooperation between the two nations. For starters, Turkish – Israeli ties have always been crucially important due to their potential of creating stability and forming a robust political-military posture. Apart from being true evidence of “democratic peace assumption”; in practical, Turkish – Israeli cooperation is the most important and viable partnership of the Middle East and North Africa that is capable of counterbalancing Iran – Baathist Syria alliance effectively, and exerting influence in a wide geopolitical axis, ranging from Levant to Caucasus. Furthermore, especially during the debates on US strategic pivot shift to Asia – Pacific and following US-withdrawal from Iraq, Turkish – Israeli relations would serve as the West’s anchor in this important region. To be precise, this fact points out the very difference between being “West-friendly and Western-minded”, which is tantamount to the tangible difference between the GCC states and Turkey & Israel.

* Research Fellow, EDAM

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