Regional Setbacks Push Turkey's Israeli Reconnect

Regional Setbacks Push Turkey's Israeli Reconnect
Regional Setbacks Push Turkey's Israeli Reconnect

A lawmaker said Turkey's systematic setbacks in the region, originating from its misguided policies, have compelled Ankara to mend ties with Israel.

Principlist Mojtaba Zolnouri made the statement in an interview with ICANA on Wednesday, referring to the compromise between Turkey and the occupying power in Tel Aviv to resume political and economic relations.

"Turkey sees that its policies in the region have failed. It is making use of every possible opportunity to dig itself out of the hole," he said, referring to Ankara's inability to overthrow the Syrian government.  

Relations between Turkey and Israel were cut off in 2010, after Israeli commandos killed 10 pro-Palestinian Turkish activists who tried to sail to the Gaza Strip to break its tight blockade which had put thousands of lives in danger.

The lawmaker said, "Turkey also believes that by normalizing diplomatic ties with the [Israeli] regime, it will improve its frosty relations with the West."


Zolnouri, a member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said the deal may yield short-term benefits for Ankara but will lead to Turkey's isolation in the Muslim world. In recent years Turkey has sought to build close political, economic and social and cultural interaction with the Muslim world.

Turkey is one of the main opponents of the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and has supported six years of insurgency by militant forces fighting to topple the government there and insists President Bashar al-Assad must step down.

In contrast, Iran is a major ally of the government in Damascus in its battle against militants, including the self-styled Islamic State and al Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra Front, and maintains that only the Syrian people should decide their own future and the fate of their country.

   Sense of Desperation

In recent days, Turkish officials have also expressed hope for a quick normalization of ties with Moscow, expressing regret over the downing of a Russian warplane that led to the rupture in ties with the Kremlin last November.  The Kremlin said on Monday that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had formally apologized to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin over the incident.

At the time of the shooting down, Ankara claimed the fighter jet had repeatedly violated Turkish airspace. Moscow dismissed the claims, saying the plane was brought down in Syrian airspace, where Russia has been conducting combat sorties against terrorists since September 2015.

Mohsen Kouhkan, another principlist lawmaker, told ICANA on Wednesday that Turkish efforts to restore relations with Russia have resulted from "a sense of isolation and desperation".  

Turkey has made major errors of judgment in their foreign policy in recent years, including its decision to back militants fighting in Syria the consequences of which are visible, he said. "Disappointment has prompted Turkish officials to mend their ways."