Issue Brief on “Turkiye’s Response to the Palestinian Crisis”

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The Republic of Turkiye and the State of Israel have enjoyed diplomatic relations since more than seven decades, with Turkiye being one of the first Muslim majority countries to do so in 1949. Although relations between Ankara and Tel Aviv have remained relatively stable, the past two decades have witnessed many ups and downs in the relationship. Both countries have also recently considered prospects of working on a subsea gas pipeline from Turkiye to Israel’s offshore gas field. Turkiye has taken a very anti-Israel stance with respect to its aggression in Gaza, and is the only country within the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) to do so. The crisis in Gaza and the subsequent Israeli aggression has generated substantial political and social criticism in Turkiye.

Since October 7th, the Turkish government has adopted a more rigid stance, employing a diverse array of measures. Turkiye has been advocating for de-escalation and criticizing the actions of Israel, with the United States being also perceived as a factor exacerbating the conflict, to condemning Israel in connection with allegations of bombing a hospital in Gaza. In tandem with President Erdogan’s assertive statements, an unprecedented joint declaration denouncing Israel for its purported attack on the hospital was endorsed by all parliamentary political factions in the country, thus revealing support throughout the country. Simultaneously, a surge of pro-Palestinian demonstrations proliferated throughout the country, including protests in front of the embassies and consulates of Israel and the United States, as well as American military bases in Incirlik and Malatya.

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