Le relazioni turco-israeliane affrontano una nuova crisi – Middle East Monitor

Le relazioni turco-israeliane affrontano una nuova crisi – Middle East Monitor

18 Novembre 2021 0 Di ken sharo

L’arresto di due israeliani per aver filmato la casa del presidente turco Recep Tayyip Erdogan continua a suscitare reazioni rabbiose in Israele, nonostante l’apparente entusiasmo di non entrare in una nuova crisi politica con la Turchia. Tuttavia, la copertura mediatica suggerisce che ci siano timori in Israele che la questione possa aggravarsi, anche se Mossad, Consiglio di sicurezza nazionale e Ministero degli affari esteri hanno inviato messaggi ad Ankara nel tentativo di trovare una soluzione rapida.

Mentre le agenzie di sicurezza e di intelligence israeliane insistono sul fatto che gli israeliani detenuti non sono spie, Tel Aviv teme che Ankara possa trasformarla in una questione politica. C’è un po’ di ottimismo, però, perché Erdogan non ha fatto esplodere la questione nei media; non ha ancora fatto notizia nemmeno sui media locali turchi.

Il primo ministro israeliano Naftali Bennett vuole porre fine alla questione il prima possibile, prima che si trasformi in una grave crisi. Sono stati presi contatti e i politici hanno detto ai servizi di sicurezza israeliani di parlare con le loro controparti turche per confermare che la coppia israeliana non è una spia.

Nel frattempo, Israele si aspetta che Erdogan richieda un prezzo alto per il rilascio dei detenuti. Oltre a qualsiasi beneficio interno diretto che potrebbe ottenere, potrebbe richiedere una serie di cambiamenti nelle difficili condizioni imposte da Israele ai palestinesi riguardo alla moschea di Al-Aqsa, il blocco guidato da Israele che soffoca la Striscia di Gaza e le relazioni strategiche di Israele con Grecia e Cipro.

LEGGI: Gli ebrei turchi si incontrano nella storica sinagoga di Ankara dopo 40 anni

Mentre vengono fatti sforzi per raggiungere un accordo o un patteggiamento, i funzionari non rilasciano alcuna dichiarazione, che potrebbe danneggiare il processo diplomatico. Anche la famiglia della coppia sta zitta e fuori dai riflettori dei media.

Mossad spy chief David Barnea has become involved and is taking the lead in negotiations with his Turkish counterpart. At the same time, Israeli Foreign Ministry diplomats are working quietly on the international scene to learn what Turkey’s intentions are and listen to its justifications.

Although several days have passed since the incident, Israel is still trying to understand whether it is a domestic security issue, or a higher political matter. The answer will, by and large, be determined by how long it takes before a solution is found. The Turkish court’s decision to extend their detention and not to deport the couple has resulted in Israel thinking that there are elements interested in using the case to create a political crisis with the occupation state.

Israeli couple Mordi and Natalie Oknin, who were held in Turkey for a week on suspicion of espionage, are greeted upon their arrival home in the Israeli city of Modiin on 18 November 2021 following their release. [GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP via Getty Images]

It should be remembered that neither Israel nor Turkey have an ambassador in the other’s capital. Lower level diplomacy is still possible, though, making it possible to resolve the problem without any escalation. Officials in Tel Aviv are considering a set of measures. This could include declaring Turkey to be a dangerous tourist destination for Israeli citizens, as they may be arrested and used as bargaining chips. Although tourism has declined due to the coronavirus pandemic, Istanbul still attracts many Israeli flights. However, Israel is keen to avoid putting further strain on its relations with Turkey. Political and diplomatic relations may be strained and far from stable, but economic links aren’t at the moment, and Israel will want to keep them that way.

READ: Will Turkish efforts to hold Israel to account for its crimes bear fruit?

It should be noted that the arrest of these two Israelis came only a few days after the Turkish security services announced the discovery of a Mossad spy cell believed to have been collecting sensitive information and intelligence, and trying to recruit informants. This discovery was not followed by a political crisis between Ankara and Tel Aviv, probably because none of those arrested in the cell were Israelis, and Israel usually does not pay much attention when such spies are arrested. When their cover is blown, it is not worth risking a political crisis with any other country.

Now, though, Turkey has two Israeli citizens in detention, accused of spying, so a crisis is seen as a price worth paying to get them back to Israel. Nevertheless, the occupation government does not appear to have much enthusiasm for a new crisis with Turkey, so it is trying to resolve the issue quietly, away from the glare of publicity. Bennett has instructed his ministers not to make any statements which might lead to counter-statements from Ankara and thus complicate the matter.

Instead, the Israeli media has been left to take out its anger on Turkey and its president, both of which have been a thorn in Israel’s side for many years. When Israeli spies and even assassins are arrested in Arab capitals, they always find their way back to Tel Aviv, quietly and without fuss, to a hero’s welcome. Turkey bucks that trend, though, and Israel knows it. Hence, Bennett is taking a softly-softly approach in what he has called a complex situation.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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ArticleEurope & RussiaIsraelMiddle EastOpinionTurkey

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