Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 15
By Aygun Badalova - Trend:
The sudden Turkish overtures to Israel are belated efforts to repair relations, which come only as a counterweight to Russian support for the Assad regime in Syria, Alexander Joffe, historian specializing in Middle East and contemporary international affairs, exclusively told Trend Dec. 15.
Joffe, who is also assistant editor at Middle East Quarterly, a publication of the think tank Middle East Forum, said he believes Israel will be cool to restoring relations with Turkey, given that Israel has adequate relations with Russia.
After deterioration of relations between Turkey and Russia, some Turkish media outlets reported that Turkey and Israel will resume their previous relations, which worsened after an incident involving the Freedom Flotilla in 2010.
Further, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu confirmed talks between Turkey and Israel.
Meanwhile, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said there are possibilities for export and transit deliveries of Israeli gas to Turkey, and said this is a factor that can "change relations between the two countries."
Prior to that, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan named the conditions for normalizing the relations with Israel. He said Israel should apologize for the Freedom Flotilla incident, pay compensation to the families of those killed and end the blockade of the Gaza Strip. Israel, so far, has met only one of the mentioned demands.
However, Joffe believes that a full opening of the Gaza border is out of the question.
"Turkish overtures must also be seen in the context of its deteriorating relations with Iran, rivalry with Egypt, and world's growing realization that it has tacitly supported the IS," he added.
"Turkish isolation is largely self-imposed, and Erdogan's efforts to undo this are unlikely to succeed," noted Joffe.