News / Middle East

Turkey Floats Gas Pipeline Plan With Israel

FILE - Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, Feb. 27, 2013.
FILE - Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, Feb. 27, 2013.
Dorian Jones
As diplomatic relations between Israel and Turkey thaw, Turkey's energy minister says that a pipeline project between the two countries could become possible.  Ankara is keen to make the country an energy hub for the region. But Turkey’s ruling party is having to balance sensitivities of families of the victims of a 2010 military operation by Israel on a Gaza-bound flotilla.

The Turkish energy minister, Taner Yildiz, says his country would be open to the construction of a pipeline to distribute Israel’s newly discovered gas.

The announcement follows Israel's apology to Turkey over the 2010 killing of nine Turks aboard an aid ship trying to break an Israeli economic embargo of the Gaza Strip.

Turkish international relations expert Soli Ozel of Istanbul’s Kadir Has University says energy cooperation offers benefits for both countries.
 
"The issue may become an important topic that the two can cooperate on," said Ozel. "The Israelis have already made a suggestion to send some of their gas by pipelines to Turkey. And this fits well with Turkey’s grand desire to be the grill full of pipelines from north to south, from east to west, and therefore become on energy matters, if not a hub, certainly an indispensable transition place."

But the thorny question of compensation to Turkish flotilla victims remains.

The Israeli government has promised to compensate the families of those killed. Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc says both sides want a speedy resolution of the issue.
 
Arinc says the Israelis would like to pay the compensation immediately and would like to solve issue as soon as possible.

He says compensation would bring an end to on-going court cases in Turkey against the Israelis involved - a key demand of Israel.

Israeli and Turkish diplomats are due to meet in Ankara next week to discuss compensation.  A senior Turkish diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he hopes it will be resolved during the visit

But analyst Ozel says even if compensation is paid, the stalled Mideast peace process hangs as a detriment to bettering Turkish-Israeli relations.
 
"The fundamental thing is the Israelis have no interest of granting a Palestinian state worthy of its name," he said. "Turkey, like the rest of the world, wants a Palestinian state, a two state solution, a decent living for the Palestinians and to get it over with. This is a difference that can't be reconciled."
 
The Turkish foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, has linked Israel’s ending its economic embargo on Hamas-run Gaza to a full normalization of Israeli-Turkish relations.

Diplomatic columnist Semih Idiz, who writes for Turkey’s Taraf newspaper, says the government has to be sensitive to criticism from the Islamist wing of its party.

Still, Idiz believes the support of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan could change the tide.  

"They [the Islamist wing] don’t like it," said Idiz. "They want Israel sort of to be punished, Israel to disappear, and all that. I don’t think the government is going to take this lightly. The government has to manage this. But in the long run, the Islamic wing will grudgingly accept it for the sake of pragmatism."

Analysts say both countries have important mutual interests, along with energy.  They both have borders with Syria and oppose the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.  Also, both are allies of the United States, and Washington is strongly backing rapprochement efforts.

You May Like

As US Strikes Syria, China Sees Parallels at Home

Beijing is debating how much support to give international coalition against IS militants and trying to figure out how many Chinese nationals may have joined group overseas More

CDC: Ebola Could Infect 1.4 M by 2015

US health officials say if efforts to curb the outbreak are not increased, cases will soar dramatically by early next year More

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in 5 Countries

US Agency for International Development partners with celebrities to call attention to importance of education for girls worldwide More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'i
X
Scott Stearns
September 23, 2014 10:52 PM
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Washington to Pyongyang: 'Shut This Evil System Down'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is calling on North Korea to shut down prison camps and other human rights abuses following a United Nations Commission of Inquiry into "widespread and systematic human rights violations." VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video US, Gulf Allies Strike Islamic State Militants in Syria

United States forces have carried out strikes against Islamic State or ISIL militant positions in Syria - the first time Western forces have taken action on Syrian soil. Five U.S. allies from the Gulf joined the military action. Local reports suggest dozens of militants were killed. The U.S. also carried out unilateral missile strikes against a Syria-based terror group which Washington says poses an imminent threat to the West. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video High Intensity Focused Ultrasound Used to Kill Cancer Tumor

There is a new way of killing certain cancer tumors that allows the patient to go home on the same day. Surgeons at the Keck Medical Center of the University of Southern California became the first doctors to use this procedure on a patient with the help of high intensity focused ultrasound, or HIFU, and new robotic technology. Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles.
Video

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in Five Countries

Hollywood stars Alicia Keys, Jennifer Garner and 30 others have voiced their support for a U.S.-backed initiative called "Let Girls Learn." The $231 million program, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, is aimed at ensuring public and quality education for girls worldwide. As VOA's Mariama Diallo reports, this new program will focus on five countries in Africa, South Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.
Video

Video UN: Relocation of Bedouins in Israel Weakens Two-state Solution

Rural Bedouins living in disputed lands east of Jerusalem could soon find themselves forcibly relocated. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Jerusalem that while Israel defends the move as in the Bedouins’ best interests, the United Nations says the plan threatens the survival of the two-state solution with Palestinians.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Prolonged Drought Plagues SW Oklahoma Farmers

Parts of western Texas and southwestern Oklahoma have been in drought conditions for several years running and the deficit in rainfall has taken a heavy toll on cotton and grain production. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin says the state has suffered $2 billion in agricultural losses since 2011. There has been rain in recent weeks, but, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Altus, Oklahoma, for most farmers it has been too late.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid