Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Turkey warming up to Israel again?

Al-Manar Jerusalem is reporting that Turkey and Israel recently formed a committee to help repair their relations and resolve outstanding problems, and to get back on the path of enhancing coordination and cooperation in various fields. Diplomatic sources told Al Manar that this committee would attempt to tackle all issues between Turkey and Israel, including Turkey waiving legal action against Israelis involved in the Mavi Marmara raid, and the resumption of military cooperation and the sale of Israeli arms shipments to Turkey, as well as to discuss other developments in the region.

The sources claimed that a high-level Israeli official will visit Turkey in the near future to help resolve differences between Ankara and Tel Aviv, and also claims that Turkey recently allowed Israeli security officials to visit a refugee camp in Turkey for Syrians fleeing their country.

I have no idea if Al Manar Jerusalem is a reliable paper, but certainly Turkey has become increasingly diplomatically and economically isolated in the past year - as illustrated in a biting article in Hurriyet Daily News today. A bold move for rapprochement with Israel would be a huge signal to Europe and the US that Turkey wants to change direction back towards the West.

(Last week, YNet reported that Turkey dropped all lawsuits against Israel regarding the Mavi Marmara, h/t Yoel.)