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Erdoğan seeks to restore relations with Israel after dramatic election defeat - report

Israel’s FM Katz: Erdoğan’s ‘incitement against Israel‘ doesn’t work

Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan attends a press conference in Istanbul, Turkey, March 8, 2024. (Photo: REUTERS/Umit Bektas)

After suffering a drastic defeat in the local elections last Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, now reportedly seeks to restore his country’s ties with Israel after months of incitement and open support for the Hamas terrorist organization, Israeli newspaper Maariv reported.

When Erdoğan threatened to “send Netanyahu to Allah” in a post on 𝕏 two weeks ago, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz summoned the Turkish deputy ambassador to Israel for a serious reprimand.

During this dressing down, according to Maariv, the Turkish diplomat assured Katz that the Turkish leader's "harsh rhetoric against Israel stems from Erdoğan's political considerations in the local elections in Turkey."

Once the elections were over, Turkey would start restoring the deeply strained relations by returning Turkey’s ambassador to Israel and inviting Israel’s ambassador to return to Ankara, he claimed.

The Maariv report came shortly after Katz claimed Erdoğan’s defeat was due to his animosity toward Israel, The Israeli foreign minister provocatively congratulated his rivals on their victory in a Turkish-language post on 𝕏.

“Local elections in Turkey ended in defeat for Erdoğan's candidates. Congratulations to Ekrem Imamoglu in Istanbul and Mansur Yavas in Ankara,” Katz wrote.

“This is a clear message to Erdoğan: Attacking Israel no longer works, he needs to find new material,” he added.

After years of good relations between the countries, Erdoğan began to harshly criticize Israel after the Gaza flotilla incident in 2010, before restoring full diplomatic relations in 2022, culminating with an announcement last September that he planned to visit Israel soon.

However, since the start of Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza, Erdoğan has once again thrown his full support behind Hamas, refusing to call them terrorists on several occasions and even comparing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler.

In Sunday’s local elections, the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) won 15 other mayoral races, including in the capital Ankara, as well as in Istanbul, where Erdoğan began his political career as mayor decades ago.

According to Reuters, the election loss was the worst defeat for Erdoğan and his Islamist Justice and Development Party (AK) since ascending to power in 2003.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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