In a bid to create rifts in Israel’s alliances with Greece and Cyprus, Turkey is reportedly trying to open channels with Tel Aviv through proposals officially submitted by retired rear admiral Cihat Yayci, architect of Ankara’s expansionist Blue Homeland doctrine and its maritime borders pact with Libya.
This was attempted initially through the leak of a proposal for an agreement (to the detriment of Cyprus and Greece) for the delimitation of exclusive economic zones between Turkey and Israel to the Moshe Dayan think tank.
Ankara also ensured to leak Yayci’s proposals to the Hayom newspaper, which is known for its strong support for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
In response, the Israeli press last week hosted leaks from diplomatic sources, which stated that the proposals for the normalization of relations between Turkey and Israel could not be made to the detriment of third parties and, in this case, Cyprus. This was followed by harsh criticism of the Turkish proposals, mainly from the Jerusalem Post, which challenged the sincerity of Ankara’s charm offensive.
There was no sign of tension abating between Athens and Ankara on Monday, with Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar stating that the issuing by Greece of navigational notices (Navtexes) in the region is “nothing more than harassment and is against good-neighborly relations.”
“Instead of talking to Turkey, they have hopes from the EU and expectations from others. They have to see that this road that they are following is a dead end,” he said.
Meanwhile on Monday, just a few days after the European Union stopped short of imposing biting sanctions against Turkey over its violations at the expense of Greece and Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean, they were imposed by the United States over Ankara’s purchase of Russian ground-to-air defenses – targeting the top Turkish defense development body, its president and three employees.