New Dynamics: How Turkey’s Defense Cooperation with Israel is Reshaping Traditional Alliances

Supplying American Shells to Israel via Turkey

For many years, the phrase “The road to Washington goes through Jerusalem” has been widely used to highlight Israel’s importance in international relations. Turkey was the first Muslim country to recognize the State of Israel in 1949, with the aim of strengthening ties with Washington and eventually joining NATO in 1952 due to fears of Soviet expansion after World War II. However, in the current crisis between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden, it is clear that traditional alliances have shifted.

Despite longstanding animosity between Erdogan and Biden, their relationship is based on mutual opportunism. Biden needed Erdogan’s approval for Sweden to join NATO, while Erdogan desired to upgrade his air force after being removed from the F-35 program due to purchasing Russian S-400 air defense systems. As a result of these mutual needs, their relationship has become closer, with Erdogan expected to visit the White House in May.

In addition to this political alliance, Turkey has also been a key player in the global arms market. The sale of 155mm shells and related equipment to Israel highlights the challenges faced by countries looking for supplies in this competitive market. Increased demand due to conflicts such as the war in Ukraine has led to a shortage of supply, prompting countries like Turkey and Israel to invest in increasing production capacity. Negotiations between Turkey and Israel for the purchase of shells and explosives demonstrate a growing partnership between the two countries in defense production.

Erdogan’s ability to navigate complex geopolitical relationships, such as supplying drones to Ukraine while acquiring S-400 batteries from Russia, illustrates his strategic approach. Turkey’s involvement in producing 155mm shells on US soil further strengthens its position as a key player in the arms industry. This cooperation reflects changing dynamics of international alliances and underscores how interconnected global defense systems are becoming.

Overall, it seems that traditional alliances are shifting as countries seek out new opportunities for collaboration and cooperation in both politics and defense production.

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