09:25 GMT25 February 2021
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    The recent agreement between Israel and Turkey to restore relations following a six-year rift is a consequence of Ankara's political isolation in the region, Gareth Jenkins of John Hopkins University told Radio Sputnik.

    The Turkish parliament has ratified a reconciliation agreement signed with Israel in June, Turkey's Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Saturday.

    The deal ends a six-year rift in bilateral relations after Israeli commandos raided a Turkish aid ship bound for the Gaza Strip in 2010, in order to enforce a naval blockade of Hamas-run Gaza. Ten Turkish citizens aboard the ship were killed in the attack.

    ​As a result of the deal, Israel will pay $20 million in compensation for the survivors and families of the victims. In return, Turkey has agreed that Israeli citizens will not be held financially or criminally liable for the attack, the Anadolu news agency reported.

    Gareth Jenkins, an Istanbul-based Nonresident Senior Fellow with the Silk Road Studies Program at John Hopkins University, told Radio Sputnik that while economic relations between the countries had not been affected by the rift, the deal is politically significant.

    "(With) this deal, Turkey has accepted Israel's right to blockade Gaza, which is quite a big step back by the Turks," Jenkins said.

    "There is still quite a lot of suspicion and distrust of Turkey inside Israel, particularly of President Erdogan, so I don't think this is going to lead to any really big changes in the region."

    Jenkins said that Turkey's recent willingness to reach agreements with regional powers is a result of Ankara's recent isolation in the region. However, he remarked that while partners such as Israel and Russia can see the benefit in reaching a deal with Ankara, there is still mistrust in their relations.

    "Talking to people in Israel, they still don't trust President Erdogan, and though I think Russia can see some advantages to cooperating with Turkey in certain areas, particularly in terms of terrorism against some of these jihadist groups, I don't think Russia completely trusts Erdogan either," Jenkins said.


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