Several factors have always played an important role in Turkish-Israeli relations since the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1949. First of all, both countries have been in the Western camp and have a special relationship with the United States. Turkey’s recognition of the importance of the Jewish lobby in US policies and Turkey’s contacts with this powerful lobby predated its diplomatic contacts with the State of Israel. When Turkey faced the expansionist threat of the Soviet Union just after the Second World War and wished to establish close military es with the United States, it also initiated contacts with the American Jewish lobby, and recognized the newly established State of Israel. Although Turkey voted against the Palestine partition plan of the United Nations and the division of Palestinian territories into Arab and Jewish states in 1947, it became the first regional power to recognize the Israeli State, just a few weeks before the Turkish foreign minister’s first official visit to Washington in 1949. Turkey joined the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1952 and formed special diplomatic and military es with the US during the 1950s.
This paper is part of the Israel-Turkey Policy Dialogue Publication Series of Mitvim and GPoT Center, in cooperation with Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung: