Israel will not name a new ambassador to Ankara until the Turks also indicate
that they are resending an envoy to Tel Aviv, Foreign Ministry officials said
The officials were responding to a story in Turkey’s Today’s
Zaman saying that Israel has decided to name Rafi Schutz, the Foreign Ministry’s
deputy director-general for Europe, as its next envoy, even though there is no
indication that the countries plan to exchanging ambassadors any time
One ministry official said that a meeting of the ministry’s
appointment committee is scheduled for Thursday, and that Turkey is not on the
“We are not there yet,” the official said.
Israel’s ambassador in 2011, and recalled its envoy shortly after the Mavi
Marmara incident in 2010.
In March, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
issued an apology to Turkey for operational errors that may have happened on the
Mavi Marmara flotilla in 2010, leading to the death of nine Turks trying to
break the blockade of Gaza. The two countries were expected to exchange envoys a
few months later. However, while talks to normalize relations began after the
apology, they have been frozen since the summer.
categorically dismissed the claim, expressed by analysts cited in the Today’s
Zaman article, that Israel was trying to “corner Turkey by announcing a name to
be appointed to Ankara – a move that aims to present Turkey as the party which
has no will to normalize relations.”
“This is complete nonsense,” the
“There is no such thing as forcing an upgrade of
ties. Downgrading relations can be done unilaterally, but upgrading the
ties – by definition – is something that needs to be bilateral.”
report of Schutz’s supposed appointment followed a Foreign Ministry-sponsored
visit here at the end of last month by eight Turkish journalists who, according
to one official, misconstrued what was said at one of the meetings.