The Turkey-US-Israel triangle : 1991-2001
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During the Cold War, Turkey’s main focus was on the perceived Soviet threat from the north. Turkey became one of the countries most deeply affected by the end of the Cold War. In the 1990s, Turkey pursued an activist foreign policy course, which was encouraged by a variety of factors. Especially the Middle East has become the region that Turkey's active and assertive foreign policy practices are most profoundly seen. Turkey’s full backing for U.S. efforts in the Gulf War and building of close ties with Israel in this new era were outcomes of this assertive foreign policy course. The United States mostly realized the great importance of Turkey and its diverse strategic roles in the post-Cold War period. Although the two countries had different approaches and conflicting interests on some issues, where the Middle East became the region on which the most conflicting views came out, Turkey and the U.S. were mostly harmonious on various subjects. Developing close relations with Israel was among the major foreign policy orientations of Turkey. Both countries have benefited from this rapprochement and even they had some different approaches to some matters, positive outcomes of this strategic partnership have been more prominent. The triangular relationship between Turkey, the United States, and Israel had positive effects on the region and has been a very important force for maintaining peace and stability in the Middle East for a while. But one must keep in mind that it is not enough to assume that close ties in the past will assure smooth relations in the future. Strategic relations mean sharing plans, but this did not turn out to be the case for the triangular relationship in the long-run.