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Buy custom Turkey and Israel under Realism and Liberalism essay

Israel has had a realism approach towards foreign policy. This has been attributed to the perception that the country is has been under constant warfare with its Arab neighbors. Even before the creation of Israel the Jewish community had been under constant conflicts with the neighboring Arab communities. Israel security principle was pre-emptive and preventive characterized with escalatory attacks, due to constant Fedayeen attacks. It has been argued that the foreign policy adopted by Turkey is a reflection of the ideology of the Turkish government foreign policy towards the Middle East. However, argument have also risen that Turkey has also made a realism approach towards foreign policy to maximize their national interests. The most important component of the Turkish foreign policy is the successful combination of the democracy and Islam. Using this perception Turkey has been the most outspoken supporter of democracy and democratic transformation to facilitate creation of a liberal democratic border. However, this approach has become a center of conflict between Turkey and other hegemonic powers, such as Israel and Iran.

In history, the relationship between turkey and Israel had been cordial in terms of positive public relationship, supported by strong economic, intellectual and military ties. In addition, turkey has contributed significantly to NATO, since it has been participating in the NATO operations since it joined in 1952. However, turkey has changed under AKP leadership. Prior to election of the AKP leadership into power, Turkey was considered for membership of the European Union. However, after election the accession talks of joining European Union have stalled and reports of democracy sabotage has been made. Sabotage of democracy has led to limitation of the freedom of the media, as well as undermining gender equality. It has been reported that, in the leadership of the AKP, the number of women in the administration has reduced significantly. The leadership of AKP has been viewed as more religious, which has led to development of views that its foreign policy is anti- America, anti-western countries and anti- Israel.

According to analysts, the economic relationship between Turkey and Israel had remained cordial even after the entry of AKP leadership. However, the Gaza war of 2008 changed the relationship between these countries, which saw a decrease in economic relations between Turkey and Israel. According to observers the volume of trade between Turkey and Israel in 2003 was $1.3 billion, which rose to $3.38 billion in 2002. The American invasion of the Iraq in 2003, contributed significantly to the change of foreign policies adopted by turkey towards Israel and America. The assassination of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin provoked strong reactions of the public opinion in Turkey. The Arab democratic revolts that started in the wake of 2010-2011, led to drastic shift of the foreign policies adopted by Turkey presenting itself as a champion of democracy in North Africa.

 The surprise attack on Gaza in 2008 had significant impacts on the relationship between Turkey and Israel. Turkey perceived the surprise attack as a violation of the human rights of the citizens of Ankara and was surprised, since the prime minister had made a verbal peace promise just a few days prior to the attack. As a result Ankara ended its mediatory mission between Syria and Israel. Turkey leadership strongly resented the approach used by Israel in dealing with Ankara and supported the victims of the attacks who were treated in Turkish hospitals. In 2009 Davos summit, was a center stage where the Turkish leader Erdogan expressed his point of view of the Gaza attacks condemning Israel president Shimon Perez. The relationship between Turkey and Israel worsened, as Israel was excluded from the NATO military maneuvers, which led to withdrawal of USA and Italy as a reaction to exclusion of Israel. In response, Turkey joined the joined NATO maneuvers in April 2009. This led to development of an attitude towards turkey by Israel leadership. In response, Turkish leader Eldogan described Israel, as real threat to the peace of the region, expressing that they would not withstand another attack by Israel in the region.

The attack of Turkish biggest vessel Mavi Marmara, which heavily comprised of Turkish citizens, was the most drastic development that led to a fall out of the bilateral relationship between turkey and Israel. Israel described the attack as a normal defensive measure, while the Turkish leadership described the attack as an act of state piracy. They described the attack by Israel as an act of state terrorism, where Israel indicated the levels it had reached in killing civilians. However, the Erdogan criticism did not receive anchorage of the local political actors, since Turkey had formed strong defense contracts with Israel.

Despite the intensified bilateral relationship between Israel and Turkey, economic liberalism approach used by turkey led to allowance of Israel telecommunication and agricultural investors in turkey. To settle the intensified bilateral relationship between Turkey and Israel, the Turkish government presented a number of demands, which included a written apology, compensation of the victims of the Gaza attack, as well as lifting of the embargo on Gaza. However, the inclusion of lifting of the Gaza embargo was perceived by Palestinian and other Arabic public as a scope within Turkish interests of the Palestinian issue.

The UN Palmer-Uribe report in 2010 presented the last episodes of the Turkey- Israel bilateral relationship. The report indicated that Israel blockage of the Gaza was justified and acceptable in international legal perspectives. Moreover, according to Palmer – Uribe report Israel naval faced organized and violent resistance and sometimes they were compelled to use force as an act of self-defense. However, the attack on the Turkish vessel was described as excessive and unreasonable use of force and it was abusive for the Israel naval to treat the Turkish citizens. In response to the report, Turkish leadership announced series restrictive measures against Israel, which included the expulsion of Israel ambassador as well as downgrading their diplomatic to second secretary level. The prime minister also announced that Turkey would measure to ensure their sea navigation in the Mediterranean Sea. However, Turkish restrictive measures and anger was not only related to lack of an apology rather it included the cooperation of the Israel government with Greek Cypriot government in drilling of natural gas in waters south of Cyprus. Israel air force provided cover and this made Israel not to heed to the demand of an apology, since it would not end the bilateral stalemate with Turkey.

Turkey has been able develop a cordial relationship with Iran for the last ten years. However, the perception of Iran significance in Turkey foreign policy varies from one ideological foundation of different political outlooks. Historically, there has been deep rooted rivalry between Turkey and Iran, and Turkey had been cautious disallowing its relationship with Iran not to be shaped by perceptions. In the Kurdish crisis, Turkey developed diplomatic relations in economic and security areas with Iran, desecuritizing its relations with both Iran and Syria. Turkey regarded Iran and Syria as important strategic countries in the Middle East in terms of economic and security issues. However, Turkey remained cautious of the Iran especially with the emergence of the Iraq war, which made the country emerge as the regional hegemon. In essence, Turkey does not perceive Iran as a threat to security rather; Iran can be a rival in terms of influence and impact. In addition, Turkey perceives Iran as an important trading partner, as well as an important source of natural gas supplier. However, there has been increasing concern by the policy makers of the increasing power of Iran in the geopolitical structure especially after toppling of the Iraq in the war. Therefore, Iran has more influence on Syria and Iraq, which represents a scenario of Turkish – Iranian competition.

The realism approach adopted by Israel has been protective and pre-emptive in nature where most of the foreign policies adopted were developed to protect Israel national interests. For example, the recent crisis between Turkey and Israel, most of the strategies adopted by Israel were protective in nature. This realism approach adopted by Israel is date back in history even before the country was found. There has been a lasting conflict between Jewish communities and their neighboring Islamic communities. The bilateral relationship between Turkey and Israel in history has been cordial. However, the rise of AKP leadership, which has taken a religious approach, has led to development of anti- America policies as well anti- Israel policies. The democratic process has been eroded with the new leadership concerns being raised on the issue of media freedom and gender inequality. The attack of Gaza in 2008, intensified the relationship between Turkey and Israel, but the total fallout of bilateral relationship was caused by Israel attack of the Turkish vessel. There was an outrage from the Turkish leadership. This was escalated by the Palmer- Ulmer UN report, which aggravated reactions of the Turkish government towards Israel. Iran and Syria have been seen as imperative trading partners to Turkey. However, Turkey is concerned of the emergence of Iran as the next point of influence of Iraq and Syria.    

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