Quarterly Updates for (16 Nov 2016 — 15 Feb 2017)

The Israeli and Turkish govts. continued building on their 6/27/2016 reconciliation agreement this quarter. On 12/9, a Turkish court dropped a 3-year-old criminal case against 4 IDF officers in connection with the Israeli assault on activists aboard the Mavi Marmara in 5/2010 (see JPS 40 [1]). The court’s ruling stemmed from a key provision of the 6/27/2016 deal, in which Turkey pledged to drop all legal claims related to the 5/2010 incident. Later in the quarter, the Turkish army’s chief of staff, Hulusi Akar, met (1/17) with IDF dep. chief of staff Yair Golan on the sidelines of a NATO meeting in Brussels, marking the 1st high-level contact between Israeli and Turkish military officials since 2010. On 1/31, an Israeli delegation flew to Ankara for the 1st strategic dialogue between Turks and Israelis in 6 years. (The 2 sides began their strategic dialogue in 1987 and had held 15 rounds of talks before relations broke down in 2010.) Turkey and Israel agreed to strengthen bilateral relations via business, academic, and cultural delegations.