The Real Choice Turkey Has to Make When It Comes to Israel

(Foreign Policy) Michael Singh - It appears that Ankara's recent antagonism toward Israel is a result of its pursuit of "strategic depth," a concept popularized by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davotoglu. "Strategic depth" has meant distancing Turkey from the West and cultivating closer relations with Middle Eastern states like Iran and Syria. Far from bolstering Turkish influence, however, deteriorating ties with Israel can only diminish Ankara's standing. Turkey had enjoyed the trust of both Israel and its Arab neighbors, which allowed Turkey to serve as a mediator in Israeli-Syrian peace talks from 2007 to 2008. Turkey has not only sacrificed the trust of Israel since then, but through its outspoken defense of Hamas and Iran, has distanced itself from the positions of Arab states who see Tehran and its proxies - and not Israel - as their "principal threat." The writer is a former senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council.

2010-11-09 08:34:50

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