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The Corner

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Turkey & Israel: The End of the Affair



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Military relations have been at the core of the Ankara-Jerusalem entente. These took off in February 1996 when the two sides signed a military-training agreement that had Israeli air force jets flying over Anatolia, making the Turks the first Muslim-majority people to establish a formal military link to Israel.

The end of the entente has just taken place. The Israelis have decided to cancel a $141 million military deal signed with Turkey in 2008, out of concern that the Turks might deliver the state-of-the-art aerial intelligence system based on electro-optic sensors to enemies of Israel.

It’s deeply unfortunate that the vagaries of Turkey’s electoral politics permitted an Islamist party to dominate the country in 2002 — but at least Israel (and France) recognize this development, unlike the U.S., which persists in thinking all is well. 



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