Following a call between the presidents of Israel and Turkey earlier this week, the two countries are working to improve their strained relations, according to a spokesman for Turkish President Recep Erdoğan’s AK Party.
Erdoğan called Israel’s President Isaac Herzog to congratulate him on his inauguration last week.
“A framework emerged after this call under which advances should be made on several issues where improvements can be made, and where steps towards solving problematic areas should be taken,” spokesman Omer Celik said.
A frequent critic of Israeli policies, Turkey wants to find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian situation, but it is also looking to improve tourism and trade between the two nations, which Celik said would be a “win-win” for both.
During their call this week, the presidents discussed the “great potential for cooperation between the countries in many fields, in particular the areas of energy, tourism and technology,” according to an Israeli readout of the call.
As recently as May, Erdoğan called Israel a “terror state” and criticized the Jewish state’s response to rocket fire from Palestinians in Gaza. In the past, Turkey has criticized Muslim nations that declared normalization with Israel even though it has its own treaty with Israel. Turkey also harbors members of Hamas.
On Monday, Erdoğan called to congratulate his Israeli counterpart, newly-elected Isaac Herzog. A call such as this sends a signal to Jerusalem that Turkey is willing to reopen dialogue with Israel, with whom relations have been extremely tense for about a decade.
Turkey's desire to improve relations with its Middle East neighbors seems to be a recent trend for the country, which has made overtures to Egypt and Saudi Arabia as well in recent months.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.