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Turkey-Israel relations were formalized in March 1949 when Turkey became the first Muslim majority country (before Iran in 1950) to recognize the State of Israel. Since then, Israel has been a major supplier of arms to Turkey. Military, strategic, and diplomatic cooperation between Turkey and Israel were accorded high priority by the governments of both countries, which share concerns with respect to the regional instabilities in the Middle East. Nevertheless, diplomatic dialogue between the two nations has recently become strained, particularly following the 2008-2009 Israel-Gaza Conflict
Turkey also served as a transit for European Jews fleeing Nazi persecution during the 1930s and 1940s, although it was implicated in the Struma disaster
Israel has been a major supplier of arms to Turkey, and Israeli firms have been responsible for modernizing the F-4 Phantom fleet of the Turkish air force. Their agreements include cooperation in the "domains of air, sea, land, intelligence; and the manufacturing of aircraft, armaments and missiles," and "prepares the way for mutual military visits, training and exercises, dispatch of observers to oversee military exercises, staff exchanges and military know-how."
Peres said that "Turkey is an important player in the Middle East in relation to the United States,Syria and the Palestinians, as well as us." According to the Jerusalem Post, a spokeswoman for the Syrian Foreign Ministry indicated to a Kuwaiti newspaper that "Turkey is used as a channel of communication" between Syria and Israel.
In October 2009, in connection to the crisis following the Turkish denial of Israel's participation in the Anatolian Eagle military exercise in Turkey, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu objected to Turkey as a mediator, and claimed "Turkey can't be honest broker," between Syria and Israel
In 2004, Turkey denounced Israeli assassination of Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, as a "terrorist act". It also described the Israeli policy in the Gaza Strip as "state-sponsored terrorism."  The Turkish government's condemnation of Israel's military campaign in Gaza in 2009 strained relations between the two countries. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on Israel to halt its military operations in Gaza and described Israel's actions as a "crime against humanity."
After Israeli Navy's raid on Turkish Gaza aid ship in international waters on 31 May 2010, the tension between the two countries mounted. Many of the aid workers were Turkish and several of the ships taking part to the demonstration had the Turkish flag. During video footage of the event, gunfire could be heard even after the Turkish ship had raised the flag of surrender