Analyst on Herzog's visit to Turkey: "Remember when Erdoğan threatened to break relations with UAE for peace with Israel?"

President Isaac Herzog (left) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the presidential complex in Ankara on March 9, 2022. (Haim Zach/GPO)

Back in 2019, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was slandering Israel and in 2020 he threatened to break relations with UAE for making peace with Israel… and now he’s hosting Israel’s president.

Is it hard for the Ankara propaganda machine to understand?

I mean how do one go from comparing a country to the 1930s horror and wanting other countries not to have relations with it… to hosting its president.

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My theory is that Ankara believed it had a blank check of impunity and aggression from the last US admin which empowered its worst impulses… it invaded Afrin, even threatened the US in Syria.

Turkey also threatened Greece, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Cyprus, Egypt, Armenia and others… now it is trying all this reconciliation.

These things matter. Ankara felt it had impunity and was on an aggression bandwagon. Notice since the end of 2020 with a new admin in Washington DC it is reticent to cause as much chaos.

Time will tell if Ankara changed. But it really has reversed course in its rhetoric and threats. Maybe this is just lip service but symbols matter.

It’s entirely plausible Ankara will try to embarrass Israel very soon and try to do something though.

Just months ago Ankara detained an Israeli tourist couple on entirely fake charges…

Seth J. Frantzman is an Oped Editor and Middle East affairs analyst at The Jerusalem Post and Executive Director at the Middle East Center for Reporting and Analysis.

President Isaac Herzog met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday afternoon, shortly after landing in Ankara for a landmark 24-hour visit.

In remarks to the media, Erdoğan said he believed that “this historic visit will be a turning point in relations between Turkey and Israel. Strengthening relations with the State of Israel has great value for our country.”

He noted that the meeting with Herzog included a discussion about events in Ukraine and in the Eastern Mediterranean and said he believed “the coming period will bring new opportunities for both regional and bilateral cooperation.”

The Turkish leader expressed hope that “this important visit, taking place after so long, will provide an opening for future joint opportunities.”

Erdoğan went on to call antisemitism “a crime against humanity,” saying that “hate crimes continue to take place all over the world and we will continue to tackle xenophobia, racism, antisemitism and Islamophobia.”

Hosting Herzog in landmark visit, Erdogan lauds 'turning point' in relations | The Times of Israel

Speaking after the Turkish president, Herzog thanked him for the warm welcome and opened his speech by saying in Turkish: “My wife and I are very happy to be in Turkey as your guests.”

READ MORE: Analyst: I have never seen a media addicted to militarism like Turkey’s.

Guest Contributor

This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor