Erdogan claims Bennett may soon visit Turkey; Israel issues denial


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday said Prime Minister Naftali Bennett may soon visit Turkey, as Jerusalem and Ankara move to improve ties following years of acrimony.

Erdogan declared that a visit by Bennett could lead toward a “new process” in bilateral relations between the countries, according to the official Anadolu news agency.

He also said cooperation on natural gas could play a key role in furthering diplomatic ties.

Shortly after Erdogan spoke, however, an Israeli source familiar with the matter said Bennett has no trip planned to Turkey at this time.

Erdogan’s remarks Friday came after he hosted President Isaac Herzog in Ankara earlier this month, the highest-level visit by an Israeli official since former premier Ehud Olmert went to Turkey in 2008.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaks during a media conference after an extraordinary NATO summit at NATO headquarters in Brussels, March 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

The Turkish president said at the time that “this historic visit will be a turning point in relations between Turkey and Israel,” while Herzog hailed the trip as “a very important moment in relations between our countries.”

Herzog later said despite the mutual interest in rekindling ties, the process was being carried out “under no illusions, but reflects bilateral interests.”

Turkey and Israel once were close allies, but the relationship frayed under Erdogan, who is an outspoken critic of Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians. Israel also has been angered by Erdogan’s embrace of the Hamas terror group.

The countries withdrew their respective ambassadors in 2010 after Israeli forces stormed a Gaza-bound flotilla carrying humanitarian aid for Palestinians that broke an Israeli blockade. The incident resulted in the deaths of 10 Turkish activists.

President Isaac Herzog (left) and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the presidential complex in Ankara on March 9, 2022. (Haim Zach/GPO)

Relations improved and then broke down again in 2018 when Turkey, angered by the US moving its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, once more recalled its ambassador, prompting Israel to respond in kind. The two countries have not restored their ambassadors.

The steps toward a rapprochement with Israel come as Turkey, beset by economic troubles, has been trying to end its international isolation by normalizing ties with several countries in the Mideast region, including Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.


Do you value The Times of Israel?

If so, we have a request. 

Every day, our journalists aim to keep you abreast of the most important developments that merit your attention. Millions of people rely on ToI for fast, fair and free coverage of Israel and the Jewish world. 

We care about Israel – and we know you do too. So today, we have an ask: show your appreciation for our work by joining The Times of Israel Community, an exclusive group for readers like you who appreciate and financially support our work. 


Yes, I’ll give


Yes, I’ll give

Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this


You’re a dedicated reader

That’s why we started the Times of Israel ten years ago – to provide discerning readers like you with must-read coverage of Israel and the Jewish world.

So now we have a request. Unlike other news outlets, we haven’t put up a paywall. But as the journalism we do is costly, we invite readers for whom The Times of Israel has become important to help support our work by joining The Times of Israel Community.

For as little as $6 a month you can help support our quality journalism while enjoying The Times of Israel AD-FREE, as well as accessing exclusive content available only to Times of Israel Community members.

Thank you,
David Horovitz, Founding Editor of The Times of Israel


Join Our Community


Join Our Community

Already a member? Sign in to stop seeing this





Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

four × 2 =