DID ICE MELT DOWN BETWEEN TURKEY AND ISRAEL?


27/11/2016





In the last days of June, it has been 6 years since Mavi Marmara departed toward Gaza blockade to bring humanitarian aid for Palestinian people and it was attacked by Israel military forces which led deaths and injuries between civilians. The normalization process between Israel and Turkey diplomacy was lasted after 3 years with the agreement signed between both country governments on 27th June 2016 and announced by the prime ministers of both countries to the world public. After this unfortunate and tragic attack, Turkey was remonstrated Israel, suspended the relations with Israel and recalled its ambassador back to Turkey. In those times that Erdoðan was prime minister, Turkey has declared three main prerequisites to normalize the relations after the attack. After three years the attack in 2003, Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu called Erdoðan and expressed his sorrow and said sorry to the period’s Prime Minister Erdoðan as a result of Turkey’s efforts in international area. Obviously, it can be said that Obama’s insistence to Netanyahu for apology during his official visit to Israel before the call of Netanyahu was very influential. However, Netanyahu’s usage of the word “sorry” instead of using apologize was a major debate in public policy. Today, it is trivialized as a forgotten issue. Other debates about two headlines have been continued until the day agreement was signed between two countries. There was reached a conclusion about the compensation for Turkish citizens who were injured or died during the attack and remove of Gaza blockage in this week. According to this agreement, Israel has accepted to pay USD 20 million compensation to the families of Turkish citizens. On ther other side, Turkey has accepted to draw back its accusations and all claims toward Israel and Israel soldiers who have responsibility on the attack. Moreover, in the press conference, Prime Minister Yýldýrým announced that a water treatment plant to provide drinkable water needs of Palestinian people, a hospital on Palestinian area and a possible TOKÝ (the house construction establishment of state) project will be constructed on Palestinian region. It is a remarkable point that although Israel prime-minister Netanyahu was in Italy where the meeting was held, Turkey was represented by foreign affairs minister Çavuþoðlu as the highest rank. We can interpret this as a message to the world press and diplomacy.On the other side, Netanyahu, in the press conference in Italy, has declared that Turkey will have a major responsibility to sell and distribute the natural gas reserves found in East Mediterranean via a possible pipeline pass through Turkey while putting forward the economic and trading dimension of the agreement. We can say that the agreement between Israel and Turkey has reached a different dimension beyond Mavi Marmara attack. In other words, this agreement has much deeper meanings different than the domestic public opinion that was introduced as Mavi Marmara revenge or rightful victory. This agreement and normalized relations with Turkey that Israel will pay USD 20 million compensation can be interpreted as loss of reputation in the world and Israel public opinion for Israel however, this agreement may result billions of USD revenue for Israel in the future. If we look by the side of Turkey, in this process led by different AKP governments since 2010, AKP has justified the pride for the claims of realization of all conditions requested from Israel as promised to the Turkish public. Although, AKP’s aim of zero problem with the neighbors policy in foreign affairs since the day it came the power was severely interrupted especially after 2010, this move and efforts of restoration the relations with Russia can be interpreted as favorable developments. Turkey is again in a way of collaborations and restoration of relations with its neighbors that it is in bad odor with. Beyond any doubt, these are two important steps that enforce Turkey’s trumps in world diplomacy and lead a different direction the politics that we may liken the chess game. The other point that needs attention in agreement with Israel is that Israel will not remove Gaza blockage contrary to the launch of this agreement in Turkey. As Israel always requests, humanitarian aids will be sent to Palestine after the control in Aþdod port where the ships carrying aids will arrive. In fact, during the Mavi Marmara attack, the warnings of Israel officials to the captain of the ship was that Mavi Marmara should arrive to Aþdod port. However, the aim of the ship was to directly perforate the Palestine blockage and bring the humanitarian aid without any linkage of Aþdod port and any control. So, in current situation, it is pleasing that the humanitarian aids will be sent to Palestinian people and their urgent needs will be provided at least to some extent. But it cannot be qualified as the removal of Gaza blockage. It seems that both governments succeed to present the agreement in their domestic media by interpreting it from their perspective to get lowest reaction. On the Israel side, an agreement with a country that support Hamas which interpreted as dangerous as ISIS is very difficult to explain to Israel public. The opposition in Israel insistently dwells on this issue. Although there is not any clause related to Hamas in the agreement and the normalization process, we will see in the short run whether there is going to be any attempt in the background or not. We can conclude that AKP government is in one step further of Israel government about the declaration about this issue.This agreement is a political consensus which shows us an interrupted relation between countries is not possible in 21st century politics and which is a must between both countries. We can say that both sides have met at the middle point. However, which country gave more compromises will be understood in near future. For the moment, both sides keep introducing themselves in their own countries in a way like they signed a perfect agreement.
Mithat Kemal Ýman

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