Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed to advance ties between their countries in a phone call on Thursday.
“The two leaders agreed to act in cooperation to establish a new age in relations between Turkey and Israel,” Netanyahu’s spokesman said. “President Erdogan and the prime minister-designate discussed ways to significantly strengthen economic and diplomatic ties between the countries.”
Netanyahu sent condolences to the citizens of Turkey killed in the recent terrorist attack in Istanbul and offered Israel’s help in fighting terrorism.
Erdogan sent condolences following the terrorist attack in Ariel this week.
The Netanyahu-Erdogan call follows efforts of the departing government to improve relations between Jerusalem and Ankara, following Turkish overtures. Some of the greatest tensions between the countries came following events during Netanyahu’s previous tenure in office.
Mending the Israel-Turkey rift
The nadir came in 2010, in the wake of the Mavi Marmara raid, in which IDF commandos boarded a ship that was aiming to break the blockade on Gaza. In the ensuing hand-to-hand combat, the commandos killed nine armed activists from an organization affiliated with Erdogan.
Netanyahu eventually apologized to Erdogan, under pressure from Washington, and the countries reinstated their ambassadors. However, Ankara expelled the Israeli ambassador after the US moved its embassy to Jerusalem in 2018, and Israel responded in kind.
Erdogan signed off on sending a new ambassador to Israel on Friday.
Sakir Ozkan Torunlar, a veteran diplomat and the former Turkish ambassador to the Palestinians, will be posted in Tel Aviv. His most recent position was as a member of Turkey’s Foreign Policy Advisory Board.Erdogan also sent Netanyahu a congratulations letter last week.
“I congratulate you on your victory in the election and believe that the new government will continue the cooperation between the countries in all areas, in a way that will bring peace and stability to our region,” Erdogan wrote, according to Netanyahu’s spokesman.
“I congratulate you on your victory in the election and believe that the new government will continue the cooperation between the countries in all areas, in a way that will bring peace and stability to our region.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan