İstanbul Kültür University

Turkish-Israeli Relations and the Middle East Peace Process

GPoT Center hosted a conference with Dr. Alon Liel, in which he presented photos from his, and Mr. Can Yirik’s, book Turkish-Israeli Relations (1949-2010), a pictorial history of the bilateral relationship from its foundations to the present day.

Dr. Alon Liel then considered the implications for Turkey-Israel relations of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the "Arab Spring." After an introduction by Dr. Sylvia Tiryaki and opening remarks by Mr. Can Yirik about the idea behind the album, Dr. Alon Liel presented a slide show with some key photos from the album to demonstrate good and bad periods in the relations between Turkey and Israel over the past 63 years. To conclude the slideshow presentation Dr. Alon Liel stated:

“There are 200 photos in the album. The purpose was to show there were always very sharp ups and downs -- 63 years of ups and downs, good decades and bad ones. Now we are experiencing a bad period. But we have to remember that this [relationship] is an unbelievable asset that we have had for 63 years. It shouldn’t just be dropped and forgotten.”

Dr. Liel then explained how Israeli-Palestinian relations affected Israel’s relations with Turkey. He presented four, equally probable, options he believes are likely in the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations, and the effects each outcome would have on the two parties and the region. He subsequently briefly discussed Middle Eastern politics in general and the role of the United States and Europe in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The conference concluded with a question and answer session with Dr. Liel and the attendees, who included Ambassador (Ret.) Özdem Sanberk and journalists representing all the major Turkish news outlets.

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