Set for Reset: Are Israel-Turkey Relations Back on Track?

Ties between the two nations soured in the past decade following the Mavi Marmara incident and the several escalation rounds between israel and the Gaza militants, allegedly supported by Turkey. Now, however, under the leadership of PM Naftali Bennett the situation might soon be changing.

Last Tuesday, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), backed by Turkey, announced that a small part of Varosha, an abandoned coastal town on the divided island, would come under its civilian control and be open for potential resettlement. 

Greece that backs the government in Nicosia immediately rejected the move, saying it was a violation of UN Security Council Resolutions.

And so did israel. Immediately following the TRNC announcement, Yair Lapid, who heads the country’s Foreign Ministry, expressed his “deep concerns” over the situation in Varosha. He also reiterated his commitment to deepening and broadening ties with Greece, one of Turkey’s regional rivals.

​Sour Relations

In Turkey, those comments of Israel’s Foreign Minister didn’t surprise many, especially given the sour taste that characterized the relations in recent years.

First they were marred by the 2010 Mavi Marmara “freedom flotilla” that aimed at lifting Israel’s blockade of Gaza and that resulted in the death of ten Turkish nationals.

Then it was Israel’s several military campaigns in Gaza that devastated the enclave and left thousands dead or injured.

And, finally, it was the lack of personal chemistry between…

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