‘Turkey-Israel ties could head for breakup’

‘Turkey-Israel ties could head for breakup’

The crisis in Israeli-Turkish relationship could deteriorate to the point of a breakup, former US ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk said on Wednesday.

In an interview with The Jerusalem Post, Indyk, currently the Brookings Institute’s vice president for foreign policy, said that the “three brakes” that had prevented Turkey under the Islamic-rooted AK party from drifting toward the Arab world and away from Israel were the Turkish military, its business class, and the “peace process.”

Each of these brakes has been loosened over the last two years – the military has been pushed back into the barracks and no longer has influence over government policy as it once did; the business class is feeling considerable heat from the government and is in no position to stand up and say that ties with Israel are economically important; and the peace process – both with Syria and the Palestinians – is nonexistent, he said.

“I think that it is serious because it is like a car with an accelerator and no brake,” said Indyk, who participated this week in President Shimon Peres’s Israeli Presidential Conference in Jerusalem, arriving directly from meetings in Istanbul.

“I think it is a serious deterioration in the relationship, and it could lead to a breakup. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before. Israel lost a relationship with the whole of Africa, and had to rebuild it. It could happen,” he said. [continued…]

Turkey confirms Iran gas deal

Turkey plans to carry out its $3.5 billion natural gas development plans in Iran, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said on Wednesday.

“The issue would be discussed during Prime Minister Tayyip Recep Erdogan’s upcoming trip to Tehran,” Reuters reported.

The Turkish and Iranian governments agreed in July 2007 that Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) would produce 20.4 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas annually from three development phases of Iran’s South Pars gas field, but the deal has been delayed. [continued…]

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