The Hall of Mirrors: Reflections, Illusions and Realities in Turkish Israeli Relations
Turkey’s bilateral relations with Israel has been steadily deteriorating due to problems stemming from the naval blockade on Gaza Strip imposed by Israel and Egypt after HAMAS gained the full control of the strip in June 2007.Exacerbated by the Operation Cast Lead launched by the IDF in late December 2008 to take the HAMAS regime down in the Strip, the tension reached to its climax with the Operation Sky Winds 7, the raid executed in international waters to stop Mavi Marmara, which resulted in casualties among the Turkish volunteers aboard. Having frustrated Ankara’s good offices to promote Israeli-Syrian peace track, both crises were regarded in Ankara as clear indicators that mainstream political parties in Israel was neither interested in peace with its neighbors nor in seeing Ankara assuming a pivotal role in the Middle Eastern politics. By the same token, both events highlighted the determination of the JDP governments for playing a leading role in the region.