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Turkey and Israel: A new balance of power in the Middle East

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Abstract

This geopolitical odd couple has become quite intimate of late, Waxman writes, sharing intelligence, taking part in joint military maneuvers, and otherwise broadcasting their deepening strategic embrace. The relationship could transform the Middle East balance of power—and for the better.
... Hence, in 1992 the Turkish exports to those countries were composing only 12 percent of Turkey's total exports. In the rest of the 1990s the figures remained around the same level (Waxman, 1999;Makovsky, 1999a). While Turkey's exports to the Middle Eastern countries were decreasing, volume of Israeli-Turkish trade was growing steadily. ...
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During the 1990s Turkey-Israeli relations developed very quickly. For many, improvement of Turkey's relations with Israel is directly related to the military's role in politics in Turkey. What led Turkey to establish such intense relations with Israel in 1990s? In order to answer this question first of all evolution of Turkish-Israeli relations in 1990s is examined. In following sections, three different explanations for this rapprochement are presented. In the first approach the internal political structure of Turkey, especially role of military in foreign policy making, in the second approach Turkey-US relations, and in the third approach the international relations and balance of power in the Middle East are analyzed and their effects on Turkey-Israel rapprochement are discussed. It is argued that, the Turkish-Israeli rapprochement in 1990s took place as a result of the balance of power and complicated relation links in the Middle East.
... As two Middle-Eastern states who are distinct from other Muslim states in the region, Turkey and Israel share a sense of alienation from the Arab world, forming a psychological bond of "a common sense of otherness" (Makovsky, 1996). At the same time, Israel and Turkey are not only outsiders in the Arab Middle-East, but they are also outsiders in the European state system to which they have both aspired to join (Waxman, 1999). ...
Thesis
Democratic theory assumes that democracies’ policies should be responsive to their citizen’s preferences. Therefore, the existence of gaps between public preferences and institutional designs in democracies is a fascinating phenomenon for research. Even more intriguing are cases in which such gaps are maintained for a long period of time without being challenged by the electorate. Gaps such as these can be seen in the complex relations between the state and religion in Israel and Turkey, and more specifically in their policies on marriage. This line of investigation is interesting both theoretically and empirically, as despite their poles apart policies, Israel and Turkey share a similar pattern of institutional dynamics. More precisely, in Israel religious marriage is the only statutory option, despite a clear preference amongst the majority of society for a civil marriage option. By contrast, Turkey recognizes and approves only civil marriage, despite the fact that most Turks conduct complementary religious ceremonies. Existing explanations for this phenomenon suggested either civil society-based arguments (bottom up), or intra-institutional dynamics (veto players and institutional lock-ins), as reasons for the maintenance of such gaps. This work enriches our understanding of policy dynamics in democratic systems by introducing a third line of argument, one that emphasizes the effective role state institutions play in maintaining such arrangements for long periods, often against the public will. In exploring a new level of institutional analysis, this research stresses that such gaps are rooted in the employment of institutional tactics by state institutions as cheap means of redirecting societal discontent, and avoiding public pressure to modify their policies. The first and main tactic this research offers is the Utilization of ‘Pressure Relief Valves’. These valves are procedural low-cost arrangements that offer unsatisfied citizens, especially those who suffer the consequences of the official policy, low-cost alternatives. The valves are recognized as normatively and juristically acceptable, and grant most rights and privileges to those unsatisfied citizens who choose to use them. Other tactics include building Political Legitimacy, and employing Coercion through Sanction. The tactics are used by the two states in different manners and balances, yet achieve the same goal – namely preserving their institutional designs. The theoretical framework offered here can also be used to investigate other policy realms, and extend beyond the cases of Israel and Turkey.
... D. candidate at John Hopkins University, also argues that this alliance has increased the security and strategic importance of these two states in the region. 6 Given that security i s their common bond, cooperation first developed in the military realm, with respect to weaponry upgrades, military training, and intelligence sharing. As noted by Amikam Nachmani, a professor of international relations at Bar-Illan University, the early treaties that were signed remained classified information since the y had strategic military importance. ...
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A frequently ignored or neglected component of foreign policy studies is the role of analysts in both the formulation of public policies and their attempts to legitimize or de- legitimize certain policies in the eyes of both policy makers and the public. Public policy analysts are considered to be experts, members of epistemic communities; what is important for our purposes here, however, are the transnational alliances among them. In addition to national- level efforts of epistemic communities, analysts also attempt to garner international audiences through the publication of books, articles, op-eds, media instruments, lectures, and participation in international organizations. These audiences allow them to forge transnational links that have an impact on the course of interna tional politics. The intellectual products of public -policy analysts/critics help to redefine and redirect policy makers' expectations and perceptions, subsequently leading to policy reform or modification.
Chapter
Golan-Nadir offers a summary of existing theoretical frameworks usually employed in order to analyze enduring gaps between public preferences and institutional designs in democratic settings. This chapter, Enduring Gaps between public preferences and Institutional Designs, highlights the contribution of the study, namely suggesting a third way to study such gaps as portrayed in the Model of Sustaining Institutional Designs. The model sees disparities as the product of active tactics operated by state institutions in order to repress the translation of public preference into political action using pro-active practice of one or more tactics: Utilizing ‘Pressure Relief Valves’; Building Political Legitimacy; and Coercion through Sanction. The chapter concludes with a discussion on the importance of case selection for the study—comparing Israel and Turkey.
Thesis
Η διατριβή εξετάζει τις διμερείς σχέσεις μεταξύ της Τουρκίας και του Ισραήλ και παράλληλα τις τοποθετεί στο ευρύτερο πλαίσιο της Μέσης Ανατολής. Προς εξυπηρέτηση του στόχου αυτού καθίσταται απαραίτητη η ενασχόληση με την ιστορία των σχέσεων των δύο κρατών προ της δεκαετίας του 1990 αλλά και των ιδιαίτερων εσωτερικών και εξωτερικών συνθηκών της Τουρκίας και του Ισραήλ. Η ιδιαίτερη ιστορία του Ισραήλ και της Τουρκίας έχει οδηγήσει τα δύο κράτη να συμπεριφέρονται με έναν συγκεκριμένο τρόπο, τον οποίο δεν εντοπίζουμε στη συμπεριφορά άλλων κρατών της περιοχής. Γι’ αυτόν τον λόγο, κρίνεται καθοριστική η ενασχόληση τόσο με τα στοιχεία τα οποία όριζαν την κατεύθυνση της ισραηλινής μεσανατολικής εξωτερικής πολιτικής, όπως το «Δόγμα Εξωτερικής Περιφέρειας», όσο και τα εν γένει χαρακτηριστικά του εσωτερικού πολιτικού βίου της Τουρκίας, όπως η προσήλωση στο «Σύνδρομο των Σεβρών» αλλά και η θέσπιση καταλόγου εχθρικών κρατών από το τουρκικό Συμβούλιο Εθνικής Ασφάλειας.\r\nΗ έρευνα αναπτύσσεται σε τρία μέρη. Στο πρώτο μέρος παρουσιάζονται και αναλύονται τα αίτια και οι παράγοντες διαμόρφωσης των σχέσεων μεταξύ των δύο κρατών. Στο δεύτερο μέρος παρουσιάζονται και αναλύονται οι συνθήκες οι οποίες οδήγησαν στη μεταστροφή της τουρκικής στάσης έναντι του Ισραήλ και η αντίδραση σε αυτήν. Στο τρίτο μέρος παρουσιάζεται και αναλύεται η ρήξη των τουρκο-ισραηλινών σχέσεων με σημείο αναφοράς το επεισόδιο Μαβί Μαρμαρά, και οι άμεσες συνέπειές του κατά τα έτη που ακολούθησαν μέχρι την «Αραβική Άνοιξη».\r\nΗ διατριβή αποτελεί μία επανεκτίμηση των εξελίξεων στις σχέσεις των δύο κρατών, μια συνοπτική μελέτη των τουρκο-ισραηλινών σχέσεων σε αντιπαράθεση με το σύνολο των εξελίξεων τόσο στο εσωτερικό όσο και στο εξωτερικό των δύο κρατών. Με άλλα λόγια, επιχειρήθηκε να αναλυθεί ο άξονας Τουρκίας-Ισραήλ ως περιστρεφόμενος γύρω από τη Μέση Ανατολή, αντί της Μέσης Ανατολής περιστρεφόμενης γύρω από τον άξονα Τουρκίας-Ισραήλ. Η οπτική αυτή δεν περιορίζεται στους διμερείς δεσμούς των δύο κρατών αλλά επεκτείνεται στο ευρύτερό τους πεδίο, αναδεικνύοντας πτυχές οι οποίες περιθωριοποιούνται σε προσεγγίσεις που εστιάζουν την προσοχή τους στις διμερείς σχέσεις Τουρκίας-Ισραήλ.
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The Islamic Republic of Iran is on the rise. Emboldened by Shi'a empowerment in Iraq after 2003 and the emergence of a Shi'a Crescent from Tehran to Beirut, Iran is gradually but firmly emerging as a great actor in regional and global politics. This paper critically examines the factors that contribute to Iranian power and influence and argues that Iran's rise as a major power depends on its ability to minimize external involvement in Middle Eastern affairs and to create a new regional security order in partnership with the Arab states. The waning U.S. influence in the Arab world and a gradual rapprochement in Arab–Iran relations points to developments in that direction. The drive for nuclear capability, and if Tehran finally succeeds in arming itself with nuclear weapons, will ensure Iran's rise as a great power in regional and global politics.
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The alliance between Israel and Turkey has become a fundamental element in the geopolitics of the Middle East. Generally perceived, despite official denials, as anti-Arab, this alliance has mobilized significant sectors of the Arab world, and more particularly Syria, which worries about being encircled by unfriendly states. The problem is compounded by the fact that peace negotiations between Tel Aviv and Damascus are at a standstill, and that there appears to be little hope that this deadlock will be resolved in the near future.
Turkish-Israeli Military Cooperation: An Assessment
  • Michael Eisenstadt
Michael Eisenstadt, "Turkish-Israeli Military Cooperation: An Assessment," Policywatch, Washington Institute for Near East Policy, no. 262 (July 1997).
Israeli-Turkish Relations: A Turkish 'Periphery Strategy? Reluctant Neighbor: Turkey's Role in the Middle East (Washing-ton, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace
  • Alan Makovsky
Alan Makovsky, "Israeli-Turkish Relations: A Turkish 'Periphery Strategy?'" in Henri J. Barkey, ed., Reluctant Neighbor: Turkey's Role in the Middle East (Washing-ton, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, 1996).