I asked Namik Tan, Turkey’s ambassador to Israel, who monitored the war and the recent Davos crisis, about the other side’s perspective.
What will Israel do after this?
- Turkey and Israel are two important countries in this region. You’ll see that relations will continue in the same tone and at the same level in the coming term... This is the reality of diplomacy... Nobody needs one side more than the other. Everybody needs each other in this region... Israel will continue to give the same importance to Turkey. Just as Turkey does...
Tan, described the rhythm of relations between the two countries in the future as this... Plainly, this is the impression he got from Israel after the Davos crisis.
What about the sentiments of the two sides?
I also asked this of some very experienced diplomats in Ankara...
Here is my impression of both Turkey's and Israel's perspectives according to these discussions:
FROM TURKEY'S PERSPECTIVE
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has asserted great effort to achieve peace between Israel and Syria... Talks sourcing from mutual trust took place. What is more, hours of conversation text was dictated to the Israeli and Syrian leaders over phone. Erdogan reached the point of saying, "We brought about Middle East peace," to the entire world. He was dreaming of this. At that very moment Israel launched a ground offensive against Gaza. This situation created a huge disappointment for Erdogan. And the message that "Ankara is the center of a peace," which had hoped to be sent to the world, had failed to be delivered. This was evaluated as a "stab in the back". In other words a "complete disappointment..." Therefore the hatred rose and exploded in Davos.
FROM ISRAEL’S PERSPECTIVE
Israel was saying "the government in Ankara is very excessive" due mainly to the both Erdogan and his wife, Emine’s approach during the Gaza war. But the close cooperation between the two countries prevented Israel from responding. Instead, they shifted their focus during talks with Turkey, who undertook the task of mediating, and faced Egypt. This sent Ankara the message of, "You are closer to Hamas in your stance. I am losing confidence in you." Finally, Israel was shaken by Erdogan's remarks, "You know how to kill very well." Israel felt huge disappointment. The question being asked in Tel Aviv is that "Turkey was a friend of mine, what happened?"
When the situation is evaluated from both sides it can be seen that the parties have similar feelings:
- "I was stabbed in the back... I am disappointed..."
But in the end, these "disappointments" are just filed away...
Diplomacy leaves them to be forgotten. All that remains is this:
- Erdogan was being accused by Israel recently of "using Hamas wording"... But now, he is not only an affective name for Hamas, but for the entire Arab world, beyond Egypt. From this point on, neither France nor Egypt would be seen as the sole representative of the Arab world. There is also Turkey now.
KEY COUNTRY FOR PEACE
This situation can trigger hostile plans in the Arab world, which I will refer to as "jealousy geography." In other words, it is possible that some people could explode a "bomb" in Tel Aviv in a bid to ruin this scene.
Therefore, the hand that Turkey extends to Israel has become even more important.
Because, not only Palestine, but a broader geography stands behind that hand.
This is why it is imperative that Turkey immediately repair its broken ties with Israel. Turkey can become a key country for achieving a real, lasting peace this time...