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Friday, May 20, 2022

Çavuşoğlu and Israel’s Lapid hold phone call

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Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu had a phone call with his Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid on Thursday, as the two countries are increasing contact and dialogue.

No detail was given on the content of the call.

The call comes days after Erdoğan announced that his Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog may visit Turkey soon. No date is set yet for the visit.

Relations between Turkey and Israel hit their nadir in 2010 following an Israeli naval raid on a Turkish aid ship, the Mavi Marmara, en route to deliver humanitarian aid to the blockaded Gaza Strip. The raid killed 10 activists.

The event caused an unprecedented crisis in Turkish-Israeli relations that had been peaceful for decades. Both countries even recalled their diplomatic envoys following the incident.

In 2013, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s apology to Turkey and the payment of $20 million (about TL 38 million at the time) in compensation to the Mavi Marmara victims, Turkish-Israeli relations entered a period of normalization.

In December 2016, both countries reappointed ambassadors as part of the reconciliation deal and reiterated several times the necessity to further improve bilateral relations.

However, Turkish officials continue to criticize Israel’s policies targeting Palestinians, including the illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem and the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Turkish citizens have also been complaining about Israel’s arbitrary restrictions on visits. However, Israel’s informal policy of deportation, visa rejection, arbitrary detention and the delay of Turkish nationals for no reason at airports has failed to discourage hundreds of visitors each year.

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