A structural reinterpretation of power in the Middle East, explanations and implications of the evolving military relationship between Turkey and Israel

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Sasley, Brent Elliott
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The purpose of this thesis is to examine and explain in detail the recent and developing military relationship between Israel and Turkey. To do so effectively, the thesis focuses on four aspects of this relationship, all of which are interconnected and equally important; without each of them, the thesis cannot be adequately understood. The first refers to the theoretical incentives that have driven Turkey and Israel to realise (relative) security in co-operation with each other. The second factor relates to the historical and geographic context in which both countries find themselves. To that end, a close look at the history of their regional relations will reveal that most of these relations have contributed to their physical insecurity and a need to overcome this deficiency by bringing their militaries closer together. Third, the current state of these multiple relationships indicate that Turkey and Israel's situation has not improved, and in fact has even worsened in a number of ways. The reasons and motivations behind Jerusalem and Ankara's decision to collaborate militarily can be found in their relations with their regional neighbours--in particular with Syria, Iraq, and Iran--since both Turkey and Israel have substantial disagreements and disputes with each of these states, and in the case of Turkey, Greece as well. Finally, no relationship is without its problems, and the Turkish-Israeli one also faces difficulties. The thesis concludes, however, that the reasons and motives listed previously throughout this study are more than enough to overcome these potential stumbling blocks, and in fact provide for a strong basis for a continuation and strengthening of this relationship that has such an important effect on Middle Eastern politics in the last years of the twentieth century.