Turkey and Palestinian Issue
Research number 29
Translated By
Ali Jannati

Turkey was the first Muslim country which recognized Israel on 29 March 1949. Since then until the fall of the Shah, Turkey and Iran were considered two main allies of Israel in the region. With the overthrow of the Shah's regime, Turkey gained much more importance for Israel. On the other hand, Turkey could exploit its close relations with Israel to consolidate its ties with the West, especially the U.S. and to pave the way for its membership in the EU.
Friendly relations between Turkey and Israel continued until the coming to power of Justice and Development Party (JDP) in Turkey. But the new Turkish government began to criticize the Zionist regime's attitude towards Palestinians and the Middle East peace process. During this period which began in 2002, Turkey tried to forge better relations with the Arab and Muslim world. After the victory of Hamas in Parliamentary elections in Palestine in 2006, relations between Turkey and Israel became worse due to the close ties between Hamas and the) JDP Leaders. Furthermore, Israel's attack on Lebanon in 2006 had a negative impact on these relations. During this war, Turkey harshly criticized cruelties committed by Israeli army towards civilians. After that Turkey tried to play the role of mediator between Syria and Israel, which helped ameliorate its relations with Israel. Israel's attack on Gaza in 2008 strongly condemned by the Turkish government and dealt another blow to already fragile relations between the two countries. Since then, new Turkish foreign policy towards the Arab Middle East opposed it against Israel. Three events highlighted their confrontation:
First, Erdogan's harsh criticism of Israel for massacring innocent Palestinians in Garza during the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos.
Second, the summoning of Turkish ambassador in Israel to Israeli ministry of foreign affairs and insulting him in protesting against the broadcasting of the T.V. series "Wolves' Valley" which depicts Israel's crimes during the war in Gaza.
Third, Israel's attack on Liberty fleet during which some Turkish citizens were killed.
Turkey, especially after the appointment of Mr. Davoud Oglu as foreign minister, could become an active player in the Middle East developments. This book titled "Turkey and Palestinian Issue" has been published by some researchers affiliated to Al-Zaytouna Center for Studies and Consultations and has been translated into Persian by Mr. Jannati, Iranian ex-ambassador to Kuwait.
In this book, first the position of Ottoman Empire towards Palestinian issue, particularly it role in confronting Jew's immigration to this territory and safeguarding its Islamic identity is studied. Then, the post – Ottoman period and the formation of the Republic of Turkey by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk are examined. Bilateral relations at political, military and economic levels during the five decades after the establishment of Israel are among the other topics which are discussed in the book. Finally, the new role of Turkey under the government of JDP regarding the Palestinian issues and Israel's behavior is studied.