Deer surveys damage from Carmel fire 521.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
NEW YORK – In a bit of humanitarian détente, the Turkish Cultural Center of New
York collaborated with Helping Hands International relief fund to make a $10,000
donation to the Jewish National Fund’s operation to rehabilitate the Carmel
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The forest was ravaged during December’s Mount Carmel fires, in
which 44 people were killed.
While the Turkish Cultural Center of New
York is a nonprofit organization with no ties to the Turkish government, its
executive director, Mehmet Kilic, told The Jerusalem Post
Turkish-American community had no objection to participating in the fundraising
venture for Israel.
“We did not have any tension from our people – people
are open for dialogue and understanding,” Kilic said.
with Israel and the Jewish people goes back for centuries – it dates back to
1308. These are some of the historical facts we talked up in the community to
build up our friendship.”
“We don’t want our community to only think
about the conflict,” Kilic said. “The Turkish- American community is very
open-minded, so we didn’t really encounter any resistance to doing this
Relations between Turkey and Israel have suffered
since the May 2010 flotilla incident in which ships departed from Turkey for
Gaza in an attempt to run Israel’s blockade. A UN inquiry into the matter is
scheduled to come out with its results sometime in the next few
“We are very happy that Turkey was able to contribute to the
relief efforts and send two firefighting aircrafts
to help control the huge
brushfire in northern Israel in December,” Kilic said.
were among the first to arrive, and we believe that the assistance from Turkish
aircraft was an opening door to better ties between the two countries.”