The tension escalated in relations between Turkey and Israel as a result of Israeli-Palestinian clashes on May 14. Turkish Foreign Ministry demanded Israeli Ambassador to Turkey Etienne Naeh and Istanbul General Consul Josef Levy Safar to leave the country.
In response, Turkish Ambassador to Israel Kemal Oksem and Consul of Jerusalem Hüssi Gurjan Turkoglu were summoned to the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
On May 14, the US officially moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, thus expressing its consent to proclaim Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Palestinians in their turn insist that Eastern Jerusalem is the capital of their state, which is occupied by Israel. In this regard many Palestinians organized a protest demonstration, during which the clashes with Israeli soldiers had bloody consequences.
In connection with the recent developments in Israel, “Armedia” IAA conducted an interview with expert Armen Petrosyan.
– There has been some tension in Turkish-Israeli relations recently. What is the reason for Ankara’s tough response to Israel’s actions against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip? Is it an act of humanity or is it for political purposes?
– Ankara’s harsh response to Israel’s actions against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip has a political nature, which pursues several goals, the first is to reaffirm and emphasize the claims of the Turkish ruling regime in the Muslim world, the second is to influence the indoctrination and mostly religious oriented audience. This is the reason why Turkey is the first to respond to tensions in the Palestinian-Israeli relations. All this has become more apparent after Recep Tayyip Erdogan assumed the leadership of the country.
– It seems as if Turkey’s ally Azerbaijan is trying to avoid Turkey’s anti-Israeli campaign, as Azerbaijan has the warmest relations with Israel among the Muslim countries. Isn’t such a situation contradictory?
– The contradicting position of Azerbaijan in the context of Turkish-Israeli relations is conditioned by the fact that this tension is not really a deep one. The Turkish side simply pursues political and propagandistic goals, its actions are not at all at deeper level, in other words, there is no further action than a bilateral rhetoric as both sides have extremely important relations in all dimensions. One can state that none of them wants to turn the nature of the relationship into tense one.
In this very context, Azerbaijan’s position can be viewed by trying to keep its own interests and political course in line with Turkey’s policy, avoiding the tension at the same time.
The previous years showed that when Israel and Turkey did not have political relations, Azerbaijan was trying to present Turkey’s interests through its diplomatic representation and the Azerbaijani lobby. And it can be stated that this is precisely the condition and position of Azerbaijan related to the Turkish-Israeli relations.
It is also noteworthy that the Azerbaijani-Israeli relations are important for the two countries as they are not only economically, politically but also strategically connected, taking into consideration the common interests of both countries as well as a number of issues in the Middle East, including the nuclear program, in any format of which Israel has always viewed Azerbaijan as a necessary platform for actions against Iran.
– At this stage of the Turkish-Israeli tension, we also witnessed the speculation over the Armenian Genocide recognition issue. How would you evaluate this and whether Armenia has tools to prevent it?
– Of course, in relations between the two countries it is unacceptable to use the national tragedy of a third country or people. Nevertheless, we see that it has become a tradition by Israel and is actually an efficient tool for applying the Armenian Genocide recognition process during the tense relations with Turkey. And there is an impression that the Israeli side can only threaten by the recognition of Genocide in order to get the necessary concessions from Turkey.
In this context, it is noteworthy that Armenia has never responded to various speculations on the Armenian Genocide recognition by Israel. As long as there is no clear process, there is no need to react to it.
Official Yerevan should react only after the Knesset or the State of Israel recognizes the Armenian Genocide, in case of which the proper response should not be delayed, as it has been in case of more than a dozen other countries that have recognized the Armenian Genocide. And the task of responding to the speculation should be put on the representatives of the Armenian community in Israel, who should demand not to ”play” with the national tragedy of our nation.
And in general, the relations between Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora should be put at a qualitatively new level, creating new mechanisms of cooperation to address issues that are more effective.