Home > Article > Israel bans arms to Turkey-Relations at breaking point

Israel bans arms to Turkey-Relations at breaking point

Israel bans arms to Turkey-Relations at breaking point

Turkey recognized Israel in the aftermath of the decline and breakup of the Ottoman Empire when 500,000 Arab soldiers under the guidance Lawrence of Arabia defected and Arab provinces revolted against the Ottoman Sultanate.

Many think that Mustafa Kamal Pasha brought secularism to Turkey. It is pedagogical to note that the secularists were, in practical terms running the country and had been crowning and replacing sultans starting with Mehmet V as puppets of the secular regime.

After eliminating Abdul Hamid they were extremely powerful. At his funeral even his adversaries wept. Otto von Bismarck had once remarked that “90% of intelligence is in the head of Sultan Abdul Hamid, 5% in my head, and the remaining five in all the heads of the politicians.” A miscalculating alliance with Germany (Autro-Hungarian EMpire)led to the collapse of not only the Empire, but also of the centuries-old alliance between Turkish and Arab societies, mainly as a result of British incitement of Arab nationalism. The last Ottoman caliph Abdul Majid II had been offered a grand sum of money if he allowed the creation of a Jewish state in the heart of the Middle East. The Turks refused.

After the demise of the Ottoman empire, the secularists recognized Isreal and maintained relations with it.

Eight years ago the religious AK Party was elected to power in over Ankara, and things began to change. The Turks turned down $38 billion from America and refused them overflight rights so that the US could attack Iraq.


Since 2002 Turkey has been moving away from Tel Aviv and has been critical of its policies.

At the European Economic Summit in Davos, the Turkey’s prime minister stormed off the stage after a heated debate on Gaza with Israel’s president. Recep Tayyip Erdogan clashed with Shimon Peres, whose voice had risen as he made an impassioned defence of Israel’s actions, jabbing his finger.Mr Erdogan said Mr Peres had spoken so loudly to conceal his “guilt”.

Recently the US Congress passed a resolution criticizing Ottoman policies against the Armenians. This chagrined the Turks to no end. Now the Israelis have imposed sanctions on Turkey.

In January of this year the Turkish Foreign Minister surely set the stage for things to come

Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, has made his strongest criticism yet of Israel and its policies. After talks with his British counterpart David Miliband at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London, the two ministers held a joint press conference during which Mr Davutoğlu answered questions about his country’s lukewarm relations with Israel. Asked whether Turkey’s criticism of Israel was attributed to a policy of “Islamisation”, Mr. Davutoğlu denied the existence of any such policy and said that Turkey had worked actively for regional peace; indeed, until 2008 Turkey had had very good relations with Israel, even to the point of bringing it to the same table with Syria. The war in Gaza a year ago changed this, said Mr. Davutoğlu. “By attacking Palestinians in Gaza, Israel ruined our peace efforts and we cannot tolerate this. Attacking children and women is unacceptable,” he added.

Davutoğlu emphasised that his country’s relations would not be normalised as long as Israel is occupying and attacking Palestine. “If Israel ends its occupation and unacceptable treatment of Palestinians, then we will be ready the next day for normalised and good relations,” he said. “Turkey’s foreign policy is based on equality both with its neighbouring countries and others. A Jewish kid is not superior to a Palestinian kid. Both should be treated as equal. This is our vision for the region.”

The Israeli reaction to Turkey is hardly unexpected.

  • Israel imposes partial arms embargo on Turkey
  • “Ties with Turkey will never be the way they once were”
  • Diplomatic relations between the two countries declined in the aftermath of Israel’s 2008-09 conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip
  • More disharmony followed Turkey’s decision to forbid Israel Air Force strike aircraft to be deployed in Turkey

Israel will temporarily freeze sales of advanced military platforms to Turkey over concerns about the perceived mounting anti-Israel rhetoric from Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, reported UK-based Jane’s Defence Weekly.

According to a story Jane’s published on April 16, Israel’s defense assistance and export organization, SIBAT, has decided to evaluate Turkish requests on a case-by-case basis; one case under review is a Turkish request for Israeli-made electronic warfare systems. Turkey has also expressed interest in Rafael’s Spike non-line-of-sight (NLOS) anti-tank guided weapon as well as Israel Aerospace Industries’ (IAI’s) Barak 8 theatre-defense missile system for its navy and the Namer heavy infantry fighting vehicle.

“Ties with Turkey will never be the way they once were,” a defense source told Jane’s on April 14. “We are being very careful which systems we sell them due to the growing Islamic trends in the country.”

Diplomatic relations between the two countries declined in the aftermath of Israel’s 2008-09 conflict with Hamas in the Gaza Strip because Turkey was among the harshest critics of the Israeli offensive. They deteriorated further with the delay in deliveries by IAI of six Heron unmanned aerial vehicles and still further with the decision to cancel the October 2009 Anatolian Eagle exercises.

More disharmony followed Turkey’s decision to forbid Israel Air Force strike aircraft to be deployed in Turkey, where they have held numerous joint exercises in recent years. Israel has instead turned to Europe for training, aiming to bolster a 2006 agreement to allow strike aircraft to be deployed in Romania, reported Jane’s quoting its Tel Aviv correspondent.

According to Jane’s, Israel and Turkey have, however, maintained a cautious business relationship, jointly discussing with Colombia the sale of upgraded M60 main battle tanks (MBTs). Israel Military Industries (IMI) and Turkey’s Aselsan on April 7 handed over the last of 170 upgraded General Dynamics M60A1 MBTs to the Turkish military at a ceremony attended by a top Colombian general, said Jane’s.

Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gönül was not available to answer Today’s Zaman’s questions on the issue. 19 April 2010, Monday, TODAY’S ZAMAN ANKARA

Turkey has been rebuffed by the Jewish President of France Mr. Sarkozy. France has pretty much told the Turks that it should stop dreaming about joining the European Union.

Turkey has since then been looking East towards its former provinces in Central Asia and towards Pakistan. Relations have been very warm and Turkish Pakistani relations have been instrumental in bringing about a consensus on Afghanistan.

The latest Isreali-Turkish tiff has huge repercussions on the entire area. The Turkish Army has been the harbinger of Turkish secularism and its relations with Israel. Will it intervene? Can Turkey and Isreal mend their relations?

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