Turkish – Israeli defence relations start to warm up

In international politics, sometimes conflicting interests all of a sudden become unified.

The Israeli defence and aerospace industries are closely following efforts to unfreeze Turkish – Israeli relations.

A few days ago, Turkish foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu officially confirmed that Turkey has resumed contact with Israel, despite Ankara’s decision to freeze diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv.

Davutoglu stated, however, that this contact did not mean Israel and Turkey had resumed relations, which were suspended after Israeli commandos boarded a Turkish-backed aid flotilla to Gaza in 2010.

A few of the passengers were killed during that confrontation, and since then, defence relations have been frozen.

However, the situation in Syria and the Turkish aspiration to become a regional power on one hand – and the Israeli understanding that something has to be done on the other – resulted in the current, almost covert negotiations.

The Israeli defence industries suffered a hard blow from the collapse of relations.

Signed contracts were frozen, options were not exercised and the situation affected Israel’s defence “flexibility” in the area.

After joint exercises between the Turkish and Israeli air forces, after massive contracts – and even bigger ones in the planning – the impact on the Israeli defence and aerospace industries has been considerable.

However, if the current negotiations change the situation, there is a very good chance that things will get back to normal.

While Turkey is a NATO member, it has always preferred not to be fully reliant on US-made weapons systems. This brought Ankara to purchase Israeli-made defence hardware, like unmanned air systems.

The coming weeks will be crucial for the negotiations taking place behind closed doors.

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One Response to Turkish – Israeli defence relations start to warm up

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