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    Turkish honour guard soldiers hold an Israeli, right, and Turkish flag, left, after Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and his Turkish counterpart Vecdi Gonul reviewed the military guard of honour before their talks in Ankara, Turkey, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2010

    Outside Exports, Israel May Have Little Need for Improved Turkey Ties

    © AP Photo / Burhan Ozbilici
    Middle East
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    Turkey's recent warming of ties with Israel could be working to Israel's advantage when it comes to exports, at a time when Turkey is vulnerable after alienating neighbors Greece, Syria, Russia and Iran.

    Turkey's relationship with Israel, although recently boosted by Turkey's spoiling of relations with all significant neighbors, is largely in the interest of Israel's export industries, according to Saadet party member and former legislator, Lütfi Yalman.

    The Saadet Party is a splinter from the original Virtue Party, as is the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), both of which formed after the original ideologically Islamist Virtue Party was banned and split in two, with AKP taking a pro-EU approach. According to Yalman, Israel is only interested in exports to Israel, which explains its new natural gas pipeline plan, which circumvents Turkey.

    "Turkish foreign policy is currently, unfortunately, under the influence of the United States," Yalman told Sputnik Turkiye, explaining the recent normalization of relations with Israel.

    Yalman added, that although Turkey is now improving relations with Israel, it is not genuine, considering Israel's lack of remorse for its actions during the 2010 attack on the Turkish-backed Gaza Flotilla, killing 10 people. To Yalman, Israel's lack of progress in ending the blockade of Gaza is further evidence of this.

    "For Turkey and its citizens, this is important, the Turkish people, especially after the incident with the Mavi Marmara, are waiting for Israel to fulfill corresponding demands on Palestine," Yalman told Sputnik Turkiye.

    Yalman also said that Turks are increasingly threatened by Israel's territorial ambitions, claiming that some Turkish territories are inside a plan for a "Greater State of Israel," which is bound to lead to tensions. He added that he believes that Israel's preference for Greece over Turkey for its pipeline route could be a reflection of those plans.


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    diplomatic ties, pipeline, export, Israel, Turkey
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