Turkey and Israel Ties at Low Ebb, But Could Recover

Photo credit: REUTERS/Umit Bektas.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has a rocky relationship with Israel and bilateral relations have currently reached a nadir.  But Erdoğan pursues a transactional foreign policy in general and, if interests re-align, he could once again restore robust relations with Israel.    A long-time supporter of Hamas, Erdoğan bitterly criticized Israel’s 2008 incursion into Gaza that […]

Israel and Greece in the Aftermath of October 7

Cyprus' President Christodoulides, Greek PM Mitsotakis and Israeli PM Netanyahu, September 2023. Photo credit: Petros Karadjias/Pool via REUTERS.

On September 1, 1982, Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat stepped off the Greek cruise liner Atlantis, which had ferried him and some of his inner circle from Beirut to a marina just south of Athens, exiled by Israel’s invasion of Lebanon earlier that year. He was warmly welcomed on the dock by Greek Prime […]

Petting Hamas While Killing Kurds, The Double Game of Turkish President Erdoğan

Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdoğan during the “Great Palestinian Rally” in Istanbul, October 28, 2023. Photo credit: REUTERS/Dilara Senkaya.

“We will tell the whole world that Israel is a war criminal. We are preparing for this. We will declare Israel a war criminal,” said Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdoğan during the “Great Palestinian Rally” that took place in Istanbul on October 28, exactly three weeks after Hamas murdered over 1400 Israeli and other citizens, […]

Mr. Erdoğan in New York: A Transactional Foreign Policy Should be Repaid in Kind

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addresses the UN General Assembly in New York, September 19, 2023. Photo credit: REUTERS/Mike Segar

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is in New York this week for the UN General Assembly and side meetings with world leaders. Before going, he voiced his frustration with the Biden administration’s decision to directly link the sale to Turkey of upgraded F-16 fighters (which require congressional approval) to Ankara’s ability to ratify Sweden’s accession […]

China’s Influence in the Middle East and the Strategic Considerations Underlying it

Photo credit: Shutterstock

The difficulty in comparing America’s and China’s influence in the Middle East is that the two operate on entirely different planes. [Note: The Chinese use the term Western Asia, rather than the Middle East, to refer to a region that includes the Levant, Iraq, the Gulf, Turkey and Iran.] Despite China’s impressive naval construction program, China […]

Erdoğan and the US Congress

US Senator Bob Menendez (Left) and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, with a Turkish F-16 in the back (illustration). Photos credit: Kyle Mazza via Reuters Connect, IMAGO/Björn Trotzki via Reuters Connect, REUTERS/Murad Sezer

No one can truly predict what the next five years of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will mean for Turkey, the Middle East, the NATO alliance and Russia. The recent JST articles by Turkey experts indicate a wide range of views.  >> Window on Washington: Read more from Dov S. Zakheim Although his electoral victory in May […]

Turkey-Israel Relations on the Upswing

Photo credit: REUTERS/Umit Bektas, Freepik

The JST asked three prominent Israeli foreign affairs commentators about Turkey-Israel relations after the Turkish elections. Act with CautionBy Amos Yadlin Warming up to Israel and reviving bilateral relations have been part of Erdoğan’s broader détente policy in the region. The Turkish economy’s dependence on Saudi Arabia and the UAE, with the channels now reopened […]

Turkey: The Mood After the Elections and How the US Might Respond

Supporters of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Istanbul, Turkey, May 2023. Photo credit: REUTERS/Hannah McKay

The JST asked four seasoned observers of Turkey, three being former practitioners of US foreign policy and one a celebrated writer with several books on Turkey, for their views of the country in the immediate aftermath of its May elections. The Mood in Turkey Stable, but Existing Fractures are WideningBy Hugh Pope Turkey’s presidential and […]

“The Kiss of Biden” and Foreign Policy in Erdoğan’s Re-Election

Photo credit: EYEPRESS via Reuters Connect

Pity Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu. The Turkish opposition candidate faced an impossible challenge: running for president with American lipstick on his cheek.    Call it the kiss of Biden. In 2020, when Joe Biden was a candidate for president, he told the editorial board of the New York Times that he favored working with “elements of the Turkish […]

Four Reflections on Turkey After the Elections

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan addresses supporters following his victory in the second round of elections at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, May 28. Photo credit: REUTERS/Umit Bektas

The JST asked four experts on Turkey from journalism, academia and government service for their thoughts on “whither Turkey” in the immediate aftermath of the May 28 elections.   In Turkey, “It’s not the economy, stupid”Alan Makovsky The run-off elections of May 28 ended with Erdoğan winning roughly 52% of the vote, essentially as was expected […]