Ask any Kippa seller in Jerusalem or a Baklava-maker in the streets of Anakara and you’d come to know that the current state of relations between Turkey and Israel are in a state of strain never previously imagined or foreseen. Perhaps, it’s got to do a lot with Turkey’s downright inclination toward and alignment with the Muslim brotherhood or its fundamentalist or religious extremist attitude. Or, maybe it’s got a huge thing to do with the way Israel has contributed to upping- not lessening- the ante of violence in the Middle East, causing irreversible harm, in particular, to Palestine, that happens to be a close ally of Turkey.
Or maybe, it could well be that the above strain is down to a combination of the two.
Yet, what stands out in this vastly-debated and incredibly-absorbing tension between two giants, one a strongman of the Muslim world and the other, the most militarised and war-ready and weaponised power in the Middle East, are their trade relations.
Despite their frayed diplomatic ties, both Turkey and Israel, as of June, 2021 have only seen bi-lateral trade ties soar to great heights. So even as the cold-shouldering continues, well enough to create a deepening public shadow, there’s no love lost between the two Eastern Mediterranean states where it comes to the sands of commerce.
But try and get Israel and Turkey explore a new, higher ground in diplomacy and you’ll fall apart like nine pins. A great example of which one understood through a recent statement made by the Israeli Embassy, based in Ankara, where it was told that despite Israel coming forward to lend support to a country that’s currently being ravaged by massive wildfires, the Naftali Bennett-led nation was turned down by Erdogan land.
So why did such a thing even happen? Would you as a country say no to help extended by a nation, which though isn’t your favourite friend to turn to, especially during duress, but one you know has amazing ‘firefighting’ spirit and an immensely-regarded approach to problem-solving when matters become of grave concern?
While one doesn’t know about the stand other nations would take, it’s pretty clear that Turkey wants nothing to do with Israel even as it is amid 138 separate instances of wildfires since July.
The above is when Turkish and Israeli officials have already had a meeting as of the last week, where Israel’s willingness to lend support was more than evident, albeit was turned down.
Meanwhile, here’s what the Middle East Eye publication had to offer on a burning issue, literally speaking:
The Turkish officials [in return] said that the situation in the country was under control and thanked us,” the statement said. “Israel is ready to extend a helping hand if it is needed and requested.
Turkish officials say they extinguished 129 out of 138 forest fires since 28 July, yet nine wildfires still continue to rage in four provinces, angering locals for delayed emergency assistance and inadequate air support.
The fires have killed at least eight people and wounded hundreds of others.
The above told, it appears that help has only been accepted from those nations that Turkey believes are closely aligned to its own political bend of mind and way of thinking. So what nations are these? Well, to start of not Israel in any way.
As a matter of fact, Turkey has accepted support from nations like Russia, Azerbaijan, and Ukraine.
Time for some observation!
Well, did anyone say these are countries where a dictatorial style of government outweighs democracy?
Sometimes, one doesn’t even to read between the lines, right Mr. Recep Erdogan?