Turkey is pretending it wants to reconcile with Israel, but Ankara’s narrative over mending ties is mostly based on vague rhetoric, analyst Seth Frantzman said.
“The problem with the narrative is there is no evidence Ankara wants better ties or is willing to do anything in which Israel benefits,” Frantzman wrote in the Jerusalem Post on Sunday
Turkey and Israel were once strong allies, but relations deteriorated after the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident when Israeli commandos killed 10 Turkish citizens trying to enter Gaza by sea. Considered a terrorist organisation by Israel and the United States, Turkey’s close relations with Hamas are among a string of issues contributing to ongoing tensions, despite efforts this year at a thaw.
Israeli media reports in recent weeks indicating that Turkey’s relations with Israel might improve are based mostly on vague comments by the Turkish government and a periodical cycle of stories about the two countries reconciling, Frantzman said.
“This annual cycle often tends to be smoke and mirrors, usually spread by a whispering campaign mobilised by Turkey that is designed to isolate and undermine Israel, under the guise of getting Israel to sabotage its partnerships or beg Turkey for new friendship,” he said.
The Turkish media’s narrative of reconciliation has been generally generated whenever Turkey sensed that Israel was on the verge of diplomatic success, according to Frantzman.
“However, the question is always whether Ankara floats these ideas every six months to get something while rarely giving anything in return,” he said
As always, Turkey wants Israel to be the one doing everything, and for it to be begging Turkey for better ties, Frantzman said.
“It wants Israel more isolated and to harm Israel ties to Greece, Cyprus and others,” he said.
“It seems that since most media in Turkey are linked to or run by the ruling party, it would, if serious run positive articles about Israel, not just feed Israeli media myths about “reconciliation”,” Frantzman said.