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ALM Special

Turkey Elections: Israel never saw Erdogan as an ally, unsure about Kilicdaroglu

Turkey’s opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu had made several anti-Israel statements in the past, but might adopt a more pragmatic attitude toward Israel if he wins the election.
Burak Kara/Getty Images

Israeli officials have not been commenting on the upcoming elections in Turkey in an effort to prevent the recent rapprochement between the countries from becoming an electoral issue there.

The Israeli government seems to fear that a public discussion in Turkey on their relations at this point would force the competing sides to take positions.

Incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan shifted policies three years ago, leading a rehabilitation of ties with Israel after more than a decade of hostilities and bombastic rhetoric on Israel. Still, if challenged by his opponents on the Palestinian issue just before election day on Sunday, Erdogan could make declarations he will later find difficult to back away from. If the opposition wins, it may not backtrack on rapprochement with Israel, but might very well emerge as much more critical of the Israeli government.

Over the years, Turkey’s opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has made several statements concerning Israel.

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