Is it dawn of new era for Turkish and Israeli defence ties?

Israel is making a cautious effort to restore its defence ties with Turkey.

This effort, if successful, may revive proposed plans to sell additional Israeli-made defence systems to the Turkish defence forces.

Turkey froze all negotiations over buying Israeli-made defence systems after Israel’s navy stopped the “Peace flotilla” that headed for the Gaza strip last year.

The incident came in the middle of Israeli unmanned air systems (UAS) deliveries to Turkey and negotiations over additional contracts.

The collapse of relations between the two countries ended the bonanza that had just started for the Israeli defence and aerospace industries.

Turkey had a long UAS shopping list that would have poured billions of US dollars into the bank accounts of Israeli companies during the next five to 10 years.

In recent weeks, there have been the first signs that things may be changing as a result of US pressure on Turkey, and the belief in Turkey that Israel is not the enemy.

Turkish prime minister Arduan’s victory in the recent elections eased domestic tensions in Turkey and, according to Israeli sources, allowed the Turkish government to look at things “in more practical colours”.

On July 5, Israeli sources said that if the “reconciliation trend” continues, we may see new contracts between Israeli defence and aerospace industries and Turkey before the end of the year.

In recent months, Turkish aerospace industries have boasted of locally-designed UAS’s, but it will take some time before they reach the operational maturity of the ones exported by Israel.

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