Turkish-Israeli Relations during the Cold War

The Myth of a Long ‘Special Relationship’

in Israel Studies Review
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  • 1 Pennsylvania State University kanat@setadc.org
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abstract

Turkey’s relationship with Israel has been mixed since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948. Although Turkey was one ofthe first Muslim countries to recognize and initiate diplomatic relations with Israel soon after, improving bilateral relations never becameapriority. During the Cold War years, the two main determinants of Turkish-Israeli relations were their status as pro-Western countries in the region and the Arab-Israel conflict, which directly and indirectly influenced Turkish foreign policy toward Israel. Efforts to improve relations during the Cold War were constantly interrupted by the Arab-Israel conflict and by Turkish public opinion regarding Israel’s regional policies. Until the restoration of full diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level following the 1992 Madrid Conference, secret diplomacy between the two countries was the norm. Attempts at forming a Turkish-Israeli alignment were short-lived during these years.

Contributor Notes

kilic bugra kanat is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Pennsylvania State University at Erie. He received his PhD in Political Science from Syracuse University and a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Marquette University. He is the author of A Tale of Four Augusts: Obama’s Syria Policy (2015) and co-editor of the volumes History, Politics and Foreign Policy in Turkey (2011), Change and Adaptation in Turkish Foreign Policy (2014), and Politics and Foreign Policy in Turkey: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives (2015).

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