Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Israeli-Turkish Tensions and their International Ramifications

Israeli-Turkish Tensions and their International Ramifications


The deterioration of relations between Israel and Turkey, culminating in the “Gaza flotilla” affair of June 2010, are part of a reorientation in the Turkish foreign policy over the past several years: a move away from the West and toward Muslim states and non-state groups, including such radical actors as Iran, Hamas and Hizballah. This article reviews the rationale for the Israeli-Turkish strategic partnership in the 1990s and the early years of this century. It then documents deviations in Turkish foreign policy from Western patterns. Next it examines how changes in Turkey’s twenty-first century strategic environment, as well as in the domestic arena, led to a reorientation of Turkish foreign policy and to current tensions in bilateral relations. And finally, it assesses the impact of the changes in Turkish foreign policy on the Greater Middle East and global politics.

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