The new Israeli ambassador was officially introduced to President Erdogan. The Turkish envoy to Israel will give his accreditation “soon”. The two countries had no diplomatic relations since 2018.
The new Israeli ambassador to Turkey, Mrs. Irit Lillian presented her credentials to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on December 27, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said, the last step in the full resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries.
“A very moving moment this afternoon when I presented my credentials to the president,” the Israeli envoy, who previously served as Israel’s charge d’affaires in Ankara, wrote on his Twitter account. “Looking forward to many more positive developments in bilateral relations,” she added.
After several months of warming, the two countries announced in August the restoration of their diplomatic relations and the return of the ambassadors.
Erdogan congratulates Netanyahu on his re-election
Turkey appointed an ambassador to Israel in November after a four-year absence. Sakir Özkan Torunlar is expected to present his credentials to Israeli President Isaac Herzog “soon”, according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
Relations between the two countries were strained in 2010 after the deadly assault by Israeli forces on the Turkish humanitarian ship Mavi Marmara, which was trying to deliver aid to the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian enclave under Israeli blockade and controlled by the Islamists of 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.
The Turkish president, a fervent defender of the Palestinian cause, has in the past criticized the Israeli policies carried out under the governments of Benjamin Netanyahu (1996-1999 and 2009-2021) towards the Palestinians.
However, the Turkish President congratulated Benjamin Netanyahu after his victory in the November legislative elections. “I congratulate you on your victory in the elections and I believe that the new government will continue cooperation between the (two) countries in all areas, in a way that will bring peace and stability to our region,” he wrote.