Aftershocks from attempted Turkey coup delaying Israel reconciliation

Israel won’t name ambassador until accord ratified by Turkish parliament.

August 3, 2016 08:27
1 minute read.
Turkish military stand guard near the the Taksim Square

Turkish military stand guard near the the Taksim Square as people wave with Turkish flags in Istanbul, Turkey, July 16, 2016. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Last month’s attempted coup in Turkey and its aftermath have pushed off normalization of Israeli-Turkish ties, since the requisite accord has not yet come before the parliament in Ankara.

After the announcement of the Israeli-Turkish accord on June 27, the widespread expectation was that the two countries would formally normalize ties by naming ambassadors by the end of July.

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But the July 15 attempted coup, and the harsh crackdown that followed, has pushed back the timetable.

One diplomatic official said that Israel would not name an ambassador until the accord was taken to the Turkish parliament, which is to ratify it and pass legislation that will make it impossible to take legal steps against IDF officers or soldiers involved in the 2010 Mavi Marmara incident that led to the breakdown in relations.

The official said that Ankara wants to go through with the accord, but that it was preoccupied at present by the country’s domestic issues.

“It is important to maintain the sequence of the accord, and that we not name an ambassador until the legislative process there is finished,” he said.

Under the terms of the accord, there was a clear order of events: First the agreement was announced, then the security cabinet approved it, then each country signed a copy, and then that copy was taken to the other country for officials there to sign. All of that has been done.

What still needs to be done, however, is for the accord to be ratified by the Turkish parliament, which also is to pass laws protecting IDF personnel. Only then are the ambassadors to be named and diplomatic relations fully normalized.

The Turkish parliament was scheduled to deal with its part of the arrangement two weeks ago, but has still not done so. Jerusalem, according to diplomatic officials, has not received any concrete information about when this might take place.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a briefing earlier this week with diplomatic reporters, said that Ankara sent a message shortly after the attempted coup saying that it will not cast a cloud over the countries’ reconciliation.

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