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Who Needs Whom? Turkey and Israel Agree on Normalization Deal


Turkish-Israeli relations have been significantly affected by developments in the region. Relations started deteriorating after the 2008 Gaza war, culminating in the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident. It was not until 2013 that a drawn out process of normalization began, reaching an agreement in June 2016. This paper explores the domestic, regional, and global circumstances that led to the normalization between Turkey and Israel. It analyses the reasons for the protracted process between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s public apology to then Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan in March 2013 and the agreement reached in 2016. The paper argues that the domestically-driven repositioning of Turkish foreign policy after the stepping down of former Turkish Prime Minister Davutoglu enabled the agreement, while the changed regional context and the relative isolation of both Israel and Turkey drove both countries to repair relations.