Turkey mulls introducing visas for Israelis

September 14, 2011 11:15


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The Turkish government has been considering introducing visa requirements for Israelis entering the country in the past few days, sources in Turkey said Wednesday.

So far Turkey has been waging a war of words rather than deeds against Israel, but ending the policy of "free entry" for Israelis to Turkey would add a new dimension to the current tensions between the two countries.

If indeed the Turkish government does require Israeli citizens to visit the Turkish Embassy in Israel to take out a visa, as US and European Union citizens are already required to do, it would be the clearest indication so far that the special alliance between Turkey and Israel is over. All indications are that visas will be introduced for Israelis, thus further chilling relations between Israel and Turkey.

The belief is that the deterioration in the relationship between Turkey and Israel is irreversible. Senior Turkish commentator Soner Cagaptay said, "For the first time since 1948 none of the three major regional powers is an ally of Israel: Egypt, Turkey and Iran. This is a major strategic change."

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