Reference News Network reported on December 4th. The website of Russia’s The Independent reported on December 3 that Turkey showed its willingness to reach a settlement with its regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Israel. After signs of active diplomatic contacts with Riyadh, there are reports that Turkey has established special channels of communication with Israeli officials. Experts say Turkey has taken these measures to show goodwill to the future Biden administration.
According to the U.S. Watch website, the head of Turkey’s national intelligence agency, Hakan Fidan, has begun secret negotiations with Israeli officials, mainly related to bilateral agendas. The website quoted a source as saying that this is a sign of a change in the relationship.
An improved bilateral relationship with Israel will provide an opportunity to build bridges between Ankara and the future Biden administration, a Western diplomat said.
The report pointed out that Turkey has done the same with Saudi Arabia, a competitor in another region. Turkish Foreign Minister Çavušoğlu and Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan met in Niger not long ago. Chavushoğlu stressed that Ankara attaches importance to relations with Saudi Arabia. Erdoğan had a phone conversation with King Salman of Saudi Arabia the week before.
Aikan Aldemir, the head of the Turkish project of the Foundation for the Defence of Democracy in Turkey and a former Turkish congressman, said: “With the new U.S. government coming to power, the situation has changed. After Biden’s victory, Erdogan’s administration took a more moderate tone not only for the United States and the European Union, but also against regional rivals Israel and Saudi Arabia.
This change reflects Erdogan’s fear that Biden will not condone his aggressive foreign and security policies and may implement sanctions in coordination with the European Union.”
He believes that Erdoğan may also hope to stop the trend of increasing isolation of Turkey in the Middle East by improving relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia.