France

Erdogan signs decree to appoint ambassador to Israel after four-year vacancy — RT in French

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Turkey appointed an ambassador to Israel on the night of November 11 to 12 after a four-year absence, the last step in the full resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries announced in August.

Sakir Özkan Torunlar, an experienced diplomat who was Turkish consul general in Jerusalem between 2010 and 2014, was appointed Turkish ambassador to Israel on the night of November 11-12 by presidential decree.

After several months of warming, the two countries announced in August the complete restoration of their diplomatic relations and the return of the ambassadors.

Israel had appointed an ambassador to Ankara in September.

Diplomatic quarrels over the years

Relations between the two countries were strained in 2010 after the deadly assault by Israeli forces on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, which was trying to deliver aid to Gaza, a Palestinian enclave under Israeli blockade and controlled by the Islamists of the Hamas.

In May 2018, after the death of around fifty Palestinians killed by the Israeli army in Gaza, Turkey recalled its ambassador to Tel Aviv and dismissed the Israeli ambassador to Ankara as well as the Israeli consul general to Istanbul. Israel retaliated by sending the Turkish consul general back to Jerusalem.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also sent a letter of congratulations to Benjamin Netanyahu after his victory in the Israeli legislative elections on November 1, announced the services of the former Israeli Prime Minister.

The Turkish head of state, a fervent defender of the Palestinian cause, has in the past criticized the Israeli policies carried out under the governments of Netanyahu (1996-1999 and 2009-2021) towards the Palestinians.

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