Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Monday with a delegation of eight senior
Turkish print journalists the Foreign Ministry brought to Israel in an attempt
to “break the ice” with Turkey’s public.
The delegation, representing
such leading Turkish newspapers as Hurriyet, Zaman and Haber Turk, met with
Netanyahu a day after meeting with Foreign Minister Avigdor
Neither Netanyahu’s nor Liberman’s office was willing to
discuss the meetings, apparently having pledged to keep the content quiet until
the journalists themselves could write about them later this week.
this was not the first group of Turkish journalists to visit the country since
the May 2010 Mavi Marmara incident, which plunged relations between Israel and
Turkey into a downward spiral, it was the first to meet Israel’s senior
A previous group met with Ministers Bennie Begin and Dan
Israel’s embassy in Ankara, which has been operating without an
ambassador since Turkey evicted him after Israel refused to apologize for the
Mavi Marmara raid, organized the latest delegation.
official said the delegation was invited because Israel was interested in
reaching out to the Turkish public and letting it know that relations between
the two countries were important to Jerusalem.
“Our message is that we
need to speak about our problems in good will and without mutual recriminations,
especially at a time when the Middle East is in upheaval,” the official
The official doubted that the Turkish Foreign Ministry would
reciprocate with an invitation to Israeli journalists because Ankara was not
interested in outreach to the Israeli public at this time.