Behind the Turkish-Israeli Alliance: A Turkish View

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VOL. 29


No. 1
P. 21
Behind the Turkish-Israeli Alliance: A Turkish View

Arguing that Turkey's policy in the Middle East since the 1940s has been driven by its perception of geopolitical necessities, this article examines the shifts in that policy through the prism of key issues of national concern: the perception of the Soviet threat, the Cyprus issue, the water dispute with Iraq and Syria, and regionalization of the Kurdish problem. Turkey's leaders tilted toward the Arabs in the 1970s when they needed Arab diplomatic and economic support. During the 1990s, reduced trade with the Arabs, lack of Arab support on key issues, and bilateral disputes with Iraq and Syria led them to opt for closer relations with Israel.

Suha Bolukbasi, professor of international relations at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, is the author of The Superpowers and the Third World: Turkish-American Relations and Cyprus.