Podcast: Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak on Whether Hamas Doomed Israeli-Turkish Relations https://mosaicmagazine.com/observation/israel-zionism/2023/11/podcast-hay-eytan-cohen-yanarocak-on-whether-hamas-doomed-israeli-turkish-relations/

Earlier this year, the two nations were on the verge of repairing a broken alliance. Is that possibility still alive?

November 3, 2023 | Tikvah Podcast at Mosaic, Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak
About the author: A weekly podcast, produced in partnership with the Tikvah Fund, offering up the best thinking on Jewish thought and culture. Dr. Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak is the Turkey analyst at Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security and the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University. He is the editor of Turkeyscope: Insights on Turkish Affairs.
Turkish President Tayyip Recep Erdogan speaks during a rally in solidarity with the Palestinians in Istanbul on October 28, 2023. ASIN AKGUL/AFP via Getty Images.

Podcast: Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak


After years of acrimony, several recent meetings between Israeli and Turkish leaders seemed to suggest the possibility of a gradual thaw in relations between the two most powerful nations in the Middle East. Such a reconciliation, combined with a growing relationship with the Arab states in the Gulf, might have firmed up an alliance structure in the region powerful enough to deter Iran and its many proxies.

The Hamas massacre on October 7 has thrown a wrench into that possibility. Senior Hamas operatives live in Turkey and operate there under its protection. On October 11, Erdogan criticized the “shameful methods” that Israel used to strike Hamas targets. On October 25, he disputed the idea that Hamas is a terrorist organization at all, calling them instead mujahadeen—soldiers engaged in jihad. On October 27, he called Israel a war criminal and a pawn of the West. Ambassadors in both nations have been recalled.

Are relations doomed to degrade further? Can they be rescued? Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak is a longtime observer of Turkey based at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security and also at the Moshe Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University. In June 2022, he wrote an essay in Mosaic looking at Israeli-Turkish relations. Here, he speaks with Mosaic’s editor Jonathan Silver to look at that question in the wake of October 7.