Relations between israel and Turkey have soured over the past several years: while Tel Aviv has accused Ankara of supporting Hamas, an Islamist group deemed terrorist by Israel, Turkish officials have pointed the finger of blame at their Israeli counterparts, saying their policies against the Palestinians are unacceptable.
Turkey has opened a secret channel with Israel, media widely reported last week, citing an Al-Monitor story, based on several anonymous sources.
According to these reports, the head of Turkish intelligence, Hakan Fidan, who is close to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has secretly met with high-ranking representatives of the Israeli spy agency, the Mossad, on a number of occasions, ostensibly mulling over the possibility of improving bilateral relations.
Although Turkey and israel enjoyed fairly stable ties back in the 1990s, pursuing a number of joint defense projects, that relationship was dealt a severe blow in 2008, following Israel’s Gaza operation Cast Lead that claimed the lives of more than a thousand Palestinians, a move that was considered a red line for the Turkish side, which supports their cause.
Ties continued to deteriorate in 2010 following the bloody Mavi Marmara incident, when Israel Defence Forces clashed with armed Turkish activists on board the vessel, eventually killing nine of them, with another activist later succumbing to his wounds. At the time, then-Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed the raid as…