Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 18
By Rufiz Hafizoglu – Trend:
Despite the tension in relations between Turkey and Israel, which emerged in 2010, the two sides always acted with restraint and kept the situation in control.
One had the feeling that the crisis between the two countries was needed both for Turkey and Israel.
Turkey, having lowered its diplomatic relations with Israel, acted in the region as a defender of Muslims. Israel was proving its rightness by not making concessions to Turkey, which was more intended for the country's public.
But at the same time, the countries held secret negotiations, and the Turkish foreign minister doesn’t hide this fact. All this happened before the crisis in relations between Russia and Turkey started.
Turkish media said that Turkey and Israel have tentatively agreed to normalize relations in Switzerland.
It is reported that within the framework of the agreement reached, Israel will pay compensation in the amount of $20 million to the families of Turkish citizens killed during the incident on the “Freedom Flotilla” ship in 2010.
It also reported that Turkish foreign ministry adviser Ferudin Sinirlioglu confirmed talks on the normalization of relations between the countries.
The sides didn’t agree regarding the third requirement of Turkey, a complete lifting of the blockade of Gaza. But Israel will let humanitarian supplies pass to Gaza within the framework of the agreement.
However, this information hasn’t been confirmed or denied by Turkish officials yet, and it is most likely that the authorities of Turkey and Israel won’t be commenting on all these messages for some time.
If Turkey and Israel are able to restore previous relations, Israel will mainly benefit as a result of this.
After the relations between the two countries deteriorated, Ankara canceled a military treaty with Israel. As a result, the Israeli Air Force lost the Turkish airspace, used for "training" flights for many years.
There is no doubt that in case of resuming the relations with Turkey, Israel will once again use the airspace of the republic. This will allow it at least partially controlling the north of Syria, Iraq and western Iran. In fact, these are the countries that are hostile towards a Jewish state in the Middle East and having no close relations with Turkey.
The second important point for Israel is that earlier, the Turkish intelligence agencies shared the intelligence data with those of Israel.
Earlier, the Turkish media reported that Israel did not provide Turkey with any intelligence data.
In case of resuming the relations between the countries, the National Intelligence Agency (Mossad) and the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT) are expected to cooperate.
As for the Israeli gas supplies to Turkey, which are presented as the main cause of restoring the relations, the countries can get the mutual benefit from these supplies in the end.
But the question arises here. How long will the warm relations between Turkey and Israel last amid the military conflicts in Syria and Iraq if the countries resume them?
Oddly enough, Russia’s growing influence in Syria and Iraq also strengthen Iran’s position in these countries which doesn’t meet Israel’s and Turkey’s interests.
Aside from Iran, the Lebanese ‘Hezbollah’ movement, which is hostile to Israel, also strengthens its positions in the region.
Participating in the military operations in Syria against the IS terrorist group (ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh), ‘Hezbollah’ is gaining more experience which poses a serious threat to Israel.
There is no a guarantee that the supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad won’t use these skills against Israel.
On the other hand, if Syria, which so strongly relies on Russia’s and Iran’s support, becomes a winner of the war (it is highly likely), it can raise the Golan Heights issue sooner of later.
If Assad gains victory, it will be a complete fiasco for Turkey’s foreign policy and can strongly affect the domestic political situation in the country.
Assad’s victory in the Syrian war and Iran’s strengthening in the region doesn’t meet the interests of Turkey and Israel and it can make these two countries even closer to each other.
Rufiz Hafizoglu is the head of Trend Agency's Arabic news service, follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu
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