Former Mossad Director: Erdogan feels weak ahead of next year's elections
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan feels weak because he is worried about not being elected again as president in next year’s elections, so he wants to change the foreign policy in order to gain more political power, said Israeli general Danny Yatom, eight term Mossad Director and former commander of Israeli Special Forces, in an interview with Greek newspaper Kathimerini.
“It is his initiative to come closer to Israel. For the first time in 15 years, the minister of foreign affairs of Turkey visited Israel and our president visited Turkey. Relations are becoming warmer. And this is mainly in order to become friends,” Yatom said.
Yatom said he believed that Erdogan’s dream since he was a young student was to bring back the Ottoman Empire, and that the Western countries do not treat Turkey in the way they should treat it.
In the last ten years, Turkey seeked to advance its influence in the middle east pursuing assertive diplomacy but since last year the Erdogan administration embarked on a quest to normalize its ties with the countries in the region, after an economic downturn mainly caused by the global pandemic and the war in Ukraine.
In March, Isaac Herzog became the first Israeli president to travel to Turkey after 14 years, a visit Erdogan called “historic.”
He said that “this historic visit will be a turning point in relations between Turkey and Israel. Strengthening relations with the State of Israel has great value for our country.”
Turkey also developed diplomatic and economic ties with Egypt, UAE and Saaudi Arabia with mutual visits throughout the year.
Some analysts believe Erdogan’s survival now depends on efforts to balance between great powers and draw financing from former rivals in the Gulf.