Turkey and the Palestinian Question
By Bülent Aras
SETA Policy Brief, No.27, January 2009
The Palestinian question is a central issue at both the state and society level in Turkey. Thousands of Turkish people protested the Israeli aggression against the Palestinians in Gaza this month in different parts of Turkey. Turkish PM Erdoğan responded to the Israeli action by labeling it an act of disrespect to Turkey and suspended Turkey’s facilitating role for indirect talks between Israel and Syria. Erdoğan also initiated an intensive diplomatic campaign at the regional and international levels, utilizing Turkey’s seat in the United Nations Security Council. Turkey calls for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, and urges a compromise between rival Palestinian groups. Finally, the war on Gaza will have far-reaching consequences for the future of the region as well as for Turkish-Israeli relations.