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“Winds of Change: Where Are Turkey-Israel Relations Heading?” With Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the transfer of Eastern Mediterranean gas to Europe via Turkey is now on the agenda again.
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18/03/2022 - Viewed 862 times

 

 

The event titled “Winds of Change: Where Are Turkey-Israel Relations Heading?” was carried-out online under the leadership of the Israel-based Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), on Wednesday March 9, 2022.

In the first panel of the event titled "Diplomatic and Political Issues", the panelists touched upon the prominent issues in Israel and Turkey’s relations Pointing out the vitality to diversify areas of cooperation between Turkey and Israel, the leading actors of the region, the panelists underlined that the balance of power in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region is shifting. The panelists added that deepened cooperation between the two prominent actors would contribute to stability in the region. The panelists asserted that bilateral relations may deepen in the near future and concluded by stating that they are hopeful for diplomatic and political normalization going forward.

The second panel titled “Economic and Energy Dimensions” was attended by TEPAV Program Director Güven Sak and INSS Senior Research Assistant, former Israeli Ambassador to Jordan and the European Union, HE Dr. Oded Eran. Speaking first, Dr. Eran started his speech by stating that he wishes that the Ukraine-Russia war would end as soon as possible. Going back to the topic at hand, Dr. Eran pointed out that Turkey-Israel relations have been adversely affected by the relations of these countries with third countries and provided Israel – Lebanon and Lebanon – Turkey relations as an example.

Professor Sak, who took the floor following Dr. Eran, commenced by reiterating the wishes that the Russian offensive in Ukraine would end as soon as possible. Following, Sak stated that there are two new main issues that will intensify Turkey-Israel relations going forward. Sak pointed out that the first of these is the trend of 'Green Transformation'. In relation, Sak underlined that Turkey can obtain the high technologies required for this transformation not from the relatively distant United States of America, but from its ally in the region, Israel, and that this situation creates opportunities for the public and private sectors between the two countries. Sak continued by stating that the second new issue is Russia's occupation of Ukraine, and asserted that if the war continues further, Israel and Turkey may need to reconsider their relations in the energy sector. Sak stated that with Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the transfer of Eastern Mediterranean gas to Europe via Turkey is now on the agenda again. Speaking right after, Dr. Eran drew attention to the fact that some issues may act as "building blocks" during the normalization of bilateral relations and concluded by affirming the importance of the energy sector going forward.

Lastly, Sak gave the latest information on the Jenin Free Organized Industrial Zone project, carried- out to contribute to the development of Israel-Palestine relations and to pave the way for Turkish private sector’s integration to value chains in the region. Pointing out that this 20-year project is now under construction under the leadership of TOBB-BiS (Industry for Peace Initiative under TOBB), Sak concluded his words by stating that if everything goes well, commercial activities can start in the Zone by the end of 2022.

 

To watch Session II “Economic and Energy Dimensions”, click here.

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