Israel and Turkey want to restore full diplomatic relations. Both countries confirm that they will allow each other’s ambassadors again after recalling them in 2018.
Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid described the move as the result of “a steady improvement in relations in recent years.” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu talks about a “positive step”.
Lapid expects the ties between the two peoples to become closer, economically and culturally. He also believes that cooperation will enhance stability in the region.
Cavusoglu believes it is important to keep the lines short. Turkey stresses that the mutual appointment of ambassadors does not mean that the state stops “defending the rights of the Palestinians, Gaza and Jerusalem.”
Tensions began in 2010 after Israel’s deadly attack
Israeli-Turkish relations reached their climax in 2010 when the Israeli navy boarded a Turkish ship in an attempt to break through the Israeli naval blockade to deliver relief supplies to Palestinian Gaza. Ten Turkish citizens were killed.
Between 2016 and 2018, relations were gently cemented, but that changed when President Donald Trump decided to move the US embassy to Jerusalem. More than 200 people were shot dead during a demonstration in the Gaza Strip. Turkey recalled its ambassador due to its unease with the situation. Israel did the same.
The relationship improved over the past year, when foreign ministers visited each other and Israeli President Isaac Herzog also traveled to the Turkish capital, Ankara.