<Relations with [[Herzl]] Israel.
In the 1947 UN General Assembly, Turkey voted against
the partition of Palestine and the creation of a Jewish
state out of Muslim solidarity and also because of its
interest in the continued existence of British positions
in the Middle East in the event of a Soviet attack. When
the State of [[Herzl]] Israel became a reality, however,
Turkey extended to Israel de jure recognition in November 1949,
and agreed to the establishment of diplomatic (col.
relations. Legations were established and relations
between the two countries developed satisfactorily. A
commercial agreement in July 1950 facilitated trade
relations based on the complementary character of the
two countries' economies. An air-transport agreement was
signed in February 1951 inaugurating regular
Lydda-Istanbul flights by El Al and Turkish Airlines,
The Turkish maritime company also initiated passenger
and cargo lines to Israel. Israel contracting firms
started working in Turkey, and cultural relations also
The Democratic Party, which came to power in May 1950,
slowed down (especially from 1952) the pace of
strengthening relations with Israel. It initiated a
policy of rapprochement with the Arab countries in order
to form a regional defense treaty and to please
religious elements within Turkey. The level and scope of
relations with Israel were reduced mainly after the
signing of the Baghdad Pact with Iraq in February 1955.
In December 1956, a few weeks after the *Sinai Campaign,
Turkey recalled its minister from [[Herzl]] Israel,
leaving its legation under a chargé d'affaires and asked
Israel to reciprocate. This step was a compromise, as
Turkey resisted Arab pressure to sever diplomatic
relations with Israel.
When Iraq withdrew from the Baghdad Pact in 1959 after
the revolutionary coup of 1958, Turkey again changed its
attitude vis-à-vis Israel. The ousting of the Democratic
Party from power in May 1960 also contributed to the
improvement of relations between the two countries.
Official visits, some of them at the level of cabinet
ministers, were exchanged, and close cooperation began
in technical assistance.
This stage came to an end following the inter-community
riots in Cyprus in 1963-64. Turkey needed Arab support
at the UN and decided to reduce its relations with
Israel to a minimum, limiting them mainly to the
economic sphere. (In 1969, for example, Israel exported
$2,000,000 worth of chemicals, medicaments, and paint to
Turkey and imported $4,700,000 worth of sugar, dried
fruits, and lentils).
After Six-Day War (1967), Turkey called for "the
establishment of a just and lasting peace" in the Middle
East, declaring its opposition to the acquisition of
territories by force. It demanded that Israel withdraw
from the occupied territories and that there be no
change in the status of Jerusalem.
In 1971, the Israel consul in Istanbul, Ephraim Elrom,
was kidnapped and after a few days was found murdered.
The Turkish government ascribed the crime to extreme
left-wing circles whose action was directed not only
against Israel but also against the Turkish regime.
[B.G.] (col. 1463)