Turkey, Israel: Recent Relationship Recap
March Turkey’s PM repeatedly condemns Israel’s assassination of Hamas leader Ahmed Yassin as amounting to state terrorism.
May Turkey temporarily recalls its ambassador to Israel and consul general in Jerusalem as a vote of disapproval against Israeli operations in Gaza. Turkey also announces plans for an embassy for Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Authority. Reports emerge that Turkey may be severing some of its Israeli defense contract links—“a new policy aimed at ending strategic and military cooperation with Israel” (Courcy’s Intelligence Review, May 20).
June Israel’s national airline, El Al, cancels flights to and from Turkey for 10 days because of a dispute over security arrangements. The same month, the Jerusalem Post speaks of rumors that Ankara has canceled a long-awaited accord made just months earlier for Turkish water to be brought into Israel because of disputes over the projected route of the pipeline (June 15).
July Israel’s deputy PM is refused an audience with Turkey’s PM. The cancellation is the result of “scheduling problems”; however, the Turkish PM meets on the same day with visiting Syrian PM.