What is Ankara's position vis-à-vis Israel?

In September 2023, relations between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan were still friendly, but have cooled since Turkey clearly sided with the Islamist terrorist organisation Hamas after the attack on Israel on 7 October which triggered the current war. According to Turkish media, however, Erdoğan's position is not as clear it would appear to be.

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T24 (TR) /

Missed opportunity at the ICJ

In T24, Rıza Türmen, a former judge at the European Court of Human Rights, comments:

“There were marches and rallies to protest against Israel. Government officials, especially the president, made speeches condemning Israel. ... The president said: 'Turkey is ready to get involved in Gaza'. It is clear from this that Turkey wants to play an active role in the Gaza conflict. It is seeking to take part in the peace talks. ... But then shouldn't Turkey have intervened in the case being heard at the ICJ? ... If it had joined the proceedings, it would have had the right to make written and oral statements at the hearings. It would have had the opportunity to influence the ICJ by expressing its opinion on the issue of genocide. But Turkey did not take this opportunity.”

Karar (TR) /

Not even economic sanctions

Many conservatives in Turkey consider Ankara to have not done enough to resolve the Gaza conflict, Karar observes:

“In contrast to its harsh statements of recent years, the AKP government is currently taking a milder stance on the Gaza issue and pursuing a moderate policy that refrains from sudden reactions such as the withdrawal of its ambassador. Islamic and conservative circles are dissatisfied with this. ... While some criticise the government directly for its passivity, the main criticism is directed at the way trade is continuing with Israel. ... Not even the government's staunchest supporters can explain why a step like the cessation of trade, which is completely in Turkey's hands, is not being taken.”