Turkey and Israel have cooperated in the past when mutual interests superseded short-term differences. At the moment, sufficient reasons for closer relations do not appear to exist. A Turkey expert who used to work in Tel Aviv said recently, “Only God knows” what the future holds for Turkey and Israel relations.
However, according to Goren, a scenario where Israel and Turkey launch a channel of policy and strategic dialogue regarding Syria will deliver benefits for both sides that are currently “missing out due to their bilateral crisis.” The ending of the Syrian war will provide a timely opportunity for Israel and Turkey to recognize a new alignment of interests. The United States can play a productive role to bring the two states closer together to facilitate stability in Syria, particularly against growing Iranian influence. It is clear that the most likely outcome is that despite vitriolic rhetoric to the contrary, increasing normalization and cooperation between two powers at security, political and economic levels will become a necessary theme over the next period.
Burcu Ozcelik is a Leverhulme Early Career Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge. Dr. Ozcelik’s research interests involve the contemporary politics of the Middle East, focusing on Turkey, Iraq, Syria and transnational Kurdish politics. Her work has appeared in Foreign Affairs, RUSI, Government and Opposition, Sada Middle East Analysis (Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), Lebanon’s Daily Star, Syria Forward, the Cairo Review of Global Affairs and the Journal of the Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies.