Israel and Turkey appear to be close to normalizing relations, though it is not yet a done deal.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamist ideology and coziness with radical groups such as Hamas are likely to get in the way sooner or later.
Erdogan and his AKP government’s rhetoric against Israel, its harboring of Hamas terrorists and efforts to get its hand into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, may quiet down for a bit if a deal is reached, but it is only a matter of time before such anti-Israel actions return.
On Saturday, Erdogan reportedly met with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and according to a report on Monday in the Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak, Mashaal also met with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu for over two hours on Sunday.
It appears that Turkey is going out of its way to make sure Hamas is taken care of in the event a deal is reached, possibly in connection to reports that Israel is demanding that senior Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri leave the country.
Israeli-Turkish relations soured after a deadly 2010 incident, in which 10 Turkish citizens were killed as Israel enforced a maritime blockade on Gaza. The sides have held contacts to overcome that rift, and now these rather slow moving efforts may have been boosted indirectly by Ankara’s crisis with Moscow.
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