Turkey and the Palestinian Question since al-Aqsa Intifada
By Bulent Aras
Turkey’s Palestinian policy is something beyond a mere foreign policy behavior and reflects the movements of the fault lines in domestic politics, societal balances and statesociety relations. When these balances were disrupted and tension in the state-society relations were raised, Turkish foreign policy distanced itself from the Palestinian question. The state-society relations in Turkey are not in peace with their own history and the tension in these relations was reflected on certain foreign policy issues. The Palestinian question has been a battleground that a number of different identities have struggled with. The Palestinian question has been different than other Middle Eastern problems, and large segments of Turkish society have kept in touch with Palestinian matters. The core of the Palestinian question for the Turks is the status of Jerusalem (Al-Quds) and who will control the sacred places in the holy city. This has been one of the sensitive foreign policy issues in which Turkish society showed the utmost interest.
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