Turkish-Israeli Relations Through the Lens of the Turkish Identity Debate
This article explores Israeli-Turkish relations within the context of the deepening polarization between Turkey's secular elite and the religiously oriented segments of society. Examining the causes and political context of the alliance, the author argues that the deepening ties are at least partly a function of the sense of beleaguerment of the Turkish military, guardians of Kemalist orthodoxy, in the face of domestic challenges to its homogenizing vision. After describing the features of the axis itself, the author shows how it intermeshed with the accelerating showdown between the military and the Islamist led civilian government. Finally, the paper examines the relationship in the light of Turkish national interests, concluding that Turkey's main problems are internal and not amenable to outside solutions.