The Jerusalem Post annual conference: 7 Israeli ministers will meet you there!
Ayalon: Erdogan victory an opportunity to repair ties
ByJPOST.COM STAFF
June 13, 2011 11:02
Deputy foreign minister says strong finish by incumbent Turkish PM is a chance to reverse deterioration relations.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon

Danny Ayalon 311. (photo credit:Courtesy)

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said that the results of Turkish elections on Sunday present a new opportunity to repair relations between Jerusalem and Ankara, but placed the onus for improving ties on the Turks, in an interview with Israel Radio Monday.

Despite a breakdown in previously strong ties the countries had for years, diplomatic relations remain in place, Ayalon noted. "There is a Turkish embassy here and there is an Israeli ambassador in Ankara," he said, subtly reminding that there hasn't been a Turkish ambassador in Tel Aviv for some time.



Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Premium: For Erdogan, elections are the easy part
Israel ignoring Ankara rants to avoid role in elections


"We don't see Turkey as an enemy state," the deputy foreign minister added.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's AK Party won a resounding third consecutive election victory Sunday.

Erdogan, whose AK has transformed Muslim Turkey into one of the world's fastest-growing economies and ended a cycle of military coups, won nearly 50 percent of the vote in a parliamentary vote.

Ayalon said that the strong finish of Erdogan presents an opportunity to start anew with Israel. However, he said that it "is up to Ankara to choose which direction to go."

Israel, Ayalon said, "must respect the democratic elections in Turkey just as we expect [the Turkish] to respect the democratic choices of the Israeli people."

Relations with Turkey deteriorated last year after a diplomatic incident between Ayalon and the Turkish ambassador at the time. In January 2010, Ayalon summoned the Turkish ambassador over a Turkish television series that depicted Israeli soldiers in a bad light. When the ambassador arrived at Ayalon's office, the deputy foreign minister told the press in Hebrew to film the ambassador sitting lower than him, to note that they did not shake hands, that there were no refreshments and that only an Israeli flag was on the table.

The meeting caused a diplomatic stir. Several months later, relations between the two countries broke down even further after nine Turkish nationals were killed by IDF soldiers when raiding the Mavi Marmara, which was attempting to break the blockade on Gaza. Turkey has demanded an apology from Jerusalem in order to move on from the incident, something which Israel has thus far refused, saying that the soldiers acted in self defense.

Herb Keinon contributed to this report
Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

Tags:
  • Turkey
  • mavi marmara
  • erdogan
  • Prev Article
    PM from Rome: Unilateral state declaration delays peace
    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
    William Hague
    'Iran helping Syria to crush anti-government protests'
    Next Article
    Share this article via
    from around the web
    Related Content
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
    August 31, 2014
    Prime minister to Channel 1: I’ll be running again in next election

    By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN

    Top Stories
    Israel Weather
    • 10 - 24
      Beer Sheva
      9 - 20
      Tel Aviv - Yafo
    • 12 - 19
      Jerusalem
      10 - 20
      Haifa
    • 13 - 27
      Elat
      10 - 24
      Tiberias