Israel and Turkey announced on Wed. the return of full diplomatic ties between the two nations, including the reinstatement of ambassadors and consuls general after a four-year chill.
Although they still harbor deep differences, they've vowed to rebuild their relationship to promote regional stability, strengthen their international position, and expand their economic ties.
This rapprochement comes after a rare visit to Ankara made by Israeli Pres. Isaac Herzog earlier this year, which fortified contact between the nations and established mutual interest in normalizing ties.
Once close allies, their relationship had deteriorated over the years largely due to disagreements over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ties were cut for the first time in 2010 after Israeli troops raided Gaza-bound ships carrying humanitarian aid that broke an Israeli blockade, killing nine Turkish activists.
While diplomatic relations were restored in 2016, Ankara and Tel Aviv expelled ambassadors in 2018 over the killing of 60 Palestinians by Israeli forces during protests against the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.
Since 2020, Israel and Turkey have sought to restore ties with regional powers in the Middle East.
Narrative A, as provided by The Jerusalem Post. Turkey is seeking to improve relations with Israel to reduce its energy dependence on Moscow and recover its influence in the Middle East, which was seriously affected by recent geopolitical shifts throughout the region. This has offered some leverage for Israel to normalize ties with Ankara without jeopardizing its relations with Mediterranean allies such as Egypt and Greece.
Narrative B, as provided by Daily Sabah. As new challenges have been emerging on the global stage, it's not only Turkey that's protecting its national interests by pursuing normalized ties in the Middle East. Yes, Israel's regional position has improved since the Abraham Accords, but Tel Aviv remains concerned about Iran's nuclear capabilities, and restoring its diplomatic relations with Ankara is an important step in preparing for a change in the regional balance of power.