Türkiye names first envoy to Israel in four years — RT World News


Türkiye has appointed a veteran diplomat to serve as the country’s first ambassador to Israel in four years. The presidential decree appointing Sakir Ozkan Torunlar to this post fell on Friday, according to Turkish media.

Torunlar previously served as consul general in Jerusalem between 2010 and 2014.

The two countries have not spoken diplomatically since May 2018, when Ankara recalled its ambassador from Tel Aviv. The move came after dozens of Palestinian civilians were killed as a result of the actions of the Israel Defense Forces during the Great March of Return border protest. Subsequently, Türkiye ordered Israeli Ambassador Eitan Naeh to leave the Muslim-majority country.


Israel responded by ordering the departure of Turkish consul Husnu Gurcan Turkoglu, who oversaw Ankara’s relations with the Palestinian territories. Turkey then expelled Israel’s consul general, Yossi Levi Safri, from Istanbul, and the two countries subjected each other’s envoys to excessive checks at airports and paper inspections.

At the time, South Africa also recalled its Israeli ambassador and several countries issued statements of condemnation – but the severance of diplomatic relations with other countries was brief.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan particularly criticized Israeli politician Benjamin Netanyahu, calling him “the prime minister of an apartheid state that has occupied the lands of a defenseless people for more than 60 years in violation of UN resolutionsduring the 2018 diplomatic spat. However, Erdogan wrote to the newly elected leader earlier this month, congratulating him on his political comeback.

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