President Erdogan welcomes President Israel

ADVERTISEMENT

Getty Images

The highest level conference between Turkey and Israel since 2007 begins today. Israeli President Isaac Herzog will meet with President Erdogan in Ankara.

The two-day visit is carefully watched in that it coincides with the Ukrainian crisis.

The two countries said they could mediate to take the parties to the negotiating table.

However, it is hoped that the talks, which will take place after a long pause, will discuss the relationship between the two countries at least as much as the regional crisis.

In a statement on the Presidency’s meeting, “bilateral relations will be reviewed in every aspect and the steps that can be taken to develop cooperation will be discussed.”

Israel’s presidency is primarily a symbolic position, but one of the country’s leading politicians, Herzog, is believed to play a more prominent diplomatic role.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Eastern Mediterranean issue is expected to be one of the key topics of the conference between Erdogan and Herzog.

The source of tensions in the region for several years lies in the East Med Forum study initiated by Israel to transfer hydrocarbon resources from the eastern Mediterranean to the European market by a pipeline of key actors.

Greece and the Republic of Cyprus, Israel, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, France, Italy This forum does not have Turkey.

On the other hand, Ankara was advancing the policy with the intention that “it cannot be excluded by the local energy game” and “the project cannot be realized without Turkey”.

According to Agence France-Presse, Israeli officials have assessed that Prime Minister Erdogan may raise the issue of transporting Israeli gas to Europe via Turkey.

The Ukrainian crisis has made the issue of Russia’s dependence on energy resources a major debate in Europe.

How has the relationship between the two countries changed since 2010?

The relationship between Ankara and Tel Aviv reached its limits after Israel attacked Mavimal Mara to Gaza on the high seas on May 31, 2010, killing nine Turks.

The ambassador withdrew and Turkey offered conditions for normalization.

After years of occasional suspension of negotiations, the two countries reached an agreement in June 2016, and the newly appointed ambassadors were appointed to Tel Aviv and Ankara at the end of 2016.

It was alleged that the “Mavi Marmara Agreement” between Israel and Turkey had additional secret provisions.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog

Getty Images
Israeli President Isaac Herzog

Turkey appointed Israeli ambassador six years later

However, in December 2017, US President Donald Trump declared that Jerusalem was recognized as the capital of Israel, and the US embassy planned to move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which increased Turkey’s reaction.

In Israel, more than 60 people were killed in a Palestinian-sponsored protest in May 2018, when the embassy was opened. At this stage, Turkey withdrew its ambassador, Kemal Ochem, from Tel Aviv and, after a while, gave him another task.

Ambassador Ankara, Eisan Ne, also invited to the center by Israel, expired after a while. Currently, Israel does not have a name appointed as Ankara Ambassador, even if it remains a title.

Finally, after Herzog was elected president, there were several telephone conversations between Erdogan and Herzog. The most important of these was November, when an Israeli couple was released shortly after being detained on suspicion of being a “spy.”

At the meeting on 18 November, Prime Minister Erdogan said that Turkey-Israel relations are also important for the security and stability of the Middle East, minimizing disagreements if there is mutual understanding of both bilateral and regional issues. He said it could be suppressed.

It was pointed out that Herzog was also pleased with Turkey and Israel’s desire to have a comprehensive dialogue on bilateral and regional issues related to regional peace.

After Herzog’s mother died in January, Erdogan called an Israeli responder to condolence.