Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have agreed to a full resumption of diplomatic relations.
The two countries had recalled their ambassadors in 2018, after Israeli forces killed several Palestinians protesting against the U.S. moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Israel.
The move comes to establish ordinary ties once more establish ordinary ties comes after some thawing of tensions earlier this year, with Israeli President Isaac Herzog visiting Turkey and Mevlut Cavusoglu becoming the first Foreign Ministry of Turkey to travel to Israel.
Historically, Turko-Israeli relations have been good, but they have oscillated a great deal during Erdogan’s tenure. Notably, in 2010, ten civilians were killed by an Israeli attack on a Turkish ship sailing to the Gazan coast.
After an initial bid for regional hegemony, Turkey now seems to be contracting geopolitically, and is weakening economically. Consequently, Erdogan stands to gain a great deal from his rapprochement with Israel. For starters, this could result in an agreement on the building of a natural gas pipeline passing from Israel to Turkey (as opposed to running from Israel through Cyprus to Greece), so that the Anatolian state can benefit from the EU’s pivot from Russian gas.
This is also something of a return to normalcy for Turkey, whose international relations have always been Anglo-oriented, benefiting from close ties with the UK and US, with which Israel is generally aligned. To the degree that regional (sometimes described as neo-Ottoman) ambitions take a back seat, it makes sense for Erdogan to pursue traditional alliances.