When Israel and Turkey first forged their now shattered alliance in the late 1990s, there was much to bring together the two countries. The odd men out in the Middle East, both were non-Arab military powers who had either strained or outright hostile relations with their neighbors, a domestic terrorism problem and a strategic vision that looked westward, particularly toward Washington. It was a marriage that its architects, particularly in Israel, believed was going to last.
It turns out, breaking up is actually easy to do.
With the almost complete deterioration in Turkey-Israel relations following last year’s tragic Gaza flotilla incident in which Israeli commandos killed nine Turkish activists, it’s clear that the alliance was built on a less-than-solid foundation.
Despite the closeness the two countries once enjoyed, the relationship between Turkey and Israel was never balanced, skewing heavily toward military and security relations and a sense of shared threat in a hostile region.
Turkey’s efforts over the past few years to alter the relationship, particularly by de-emphasizing its security and strategic components, and to reintegrate itself into the Middle East — and Israel’s failure to properly read those moves and other political and social changes in Turkey — has now left relations between the two countries woefully out of balance once again. For Israel, which now must rebuild its ties with Turkey from the ground up, this imbalance and a continuing misreading of its causes will likely only lead to more problems down the road.You can find the full article here.