Turkey is an important country, both to Iran and Israel.
Until now, numerous people had accused President Erdogan of having expansionist ambitions. These days, president Erdogan is publicly validating these accusations.
According to an article entitled “Erdogan Says Current Borders Imposed on Turkey, Infuriating Neighbors” published on the 23rd of October in the Turkey Times:
Earlier in the week, he (Erdogan) cited 1920-dated Ottoman National Pact or Oath, which designated the latest shape of borders that include today’s Mosul, Kirkuk and Aleppo. With 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, Turkey conceded to loss of many territories cited in National Pact (Misak-i Milli), and agreed to relinquish control of Mosul to the UK in 1926 in Ankara Agreement that settled last territorial dispute between Great Powers, or the UK, and the young republic. (I emboldened important parts of the statement)
In the clip below, Erdogan reiterates his belief publicly that Turkey’s current borders were imposed on it, and more. Read the subtitles in English.
For now Israel has less to worry about Erdogan’s regional ideas and beliefs, but the government of Iraq, Syria and Iran would have genuine concerns. As for Putin’s reaction? Difficult to predict, yet very important. Time will tell.
First there was the news that after five years, Turkey has allowed EL AL to fly to Turkey again.
And now there is news that Erdogan’s government is:
being more flexible over Israeli compensation for the victims of an Israel Defense Forces raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla over three years ago, offering to accept a lower figure than it had demanded in the past, a senior Israeli official said Sunday.
So whats going on? Whats causing this?
Here are the top four reasons which I believe are creating this change in Turkey’s attitude:
4. Continued pressure from the Americans for the two sides to repair relations. After all, it was Obama who mediated between the Erdogan and Netanyahau, leading to Netanyahu’s apology to the Turks.
3. Erdogan is losing influence in the region, therefore his previous anti- Israel stance is losing its luster. Since Morsi is no longer in power,Erdogan has lost Egypt. Turkey’s ambassador was expelled by Al Sisi’s regime.
2. Increasing shared interest with Israel over events in Syria.
1. Israeli gas. Russia supplies 57% of Turkey’s gas supplies. After watching recent events in Ukraine and how Russia is pressuring the government there (again), the Turks are probably looking to diversify the source of their gas imports. Israel’s newly discovered gas fields could provide the answer. Gas seems to be providing the state of Israel with new geopolitical leverage in the region.