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Mixed signals over Israel-Turkey relations

An article published in the Tel Aviv University Turkeyscope review might suggest that Ankara wants to rehabilitate its relations with Jerusalem.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a press conference in Athens on January 2, 2020 following  the signing ceremony of an agreement for the EastMed pipeline project designed to ship gas from the eastern Mediterranean to Europe in Athens on January 2, 2020. (Photo by ARIS MESSINIS / AFP) (Photo by ARIS MESSINIS/AFP via Getty Images)

The Tel Aviv Moshe Dayan Institute published Dec. 7 an exceptional article, titled "Israel is Turkey’s Neighbor Across the Sea: Delimitation of the Maritime Jurisdiction Areas between Turkey and Israel." The article appeared in the institute’s publication Turkeyscope, edited by Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak. It was co-written by retired Adm. professor Cihat Yayci, a close associate of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the architect of the Turkey-Libya maritime delimitation agreement, together with university researcher Zeynep Ceyhan. 

Senior Turkish figures rarely publish articles in Israeli forums, but Yayci’s text is sensational in its content as well, as it proposes to redraft the exclusive economic zones in the Mediterranean Sea. The article discusses the possibility of signing a new maritime delimitation agreement between Turkey and Israel, at the expense of Cyprus. In other words, it proposes that contested maritime areas claimed by Cyprus should be under Israeli sovereignty. The map that accompanies the text proposes transferring blocs 8, 9, 11 and 12 in the Mediterranean Sea from Cypriot to Israeli hands.

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