Israeli and Turkish flags 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The air force has reestablished a coordination mechanism with Turkey that works
to prevent aerial misunderstandings and potential clashes over the Mediterranean
Once long-time friends and training partners, ties between the IAF
and the Turkish Air Force came to an end following Operation Cast Lead in the
Gaza Strip in 2009.
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Despite the breakdown in diplomatic and military
ties, the IAF continued to maintain an open line of communication with the
Turkish Air Force to prevent potential misunderstandings when pilots from both
countries encounter one another flying over the Mediterranean.
came to an end though in September when a United Nations commission, established
to investigate the 2010 Turkish flotilla incident, determined that Israel’s sea
blockade over the Gaza Strip is legitimate. It said however, that the Navy raid
on the Mavi Marmara
ship, which ended with nine dead passengers, was excessive
A senior IAF officer said Wednesday that the
coordination mechanism was recently reactivated as part of the countries’
efforts to stabilize and improve ties. Two weeks ago, the Turkish military
attache to Israel attended an IAF briefing for foreign military officers at the
Uvda Air Force Base on the sidelines of the IAF joint maneuvers with the Italian
The officer said that the IAF would also likely invite Turkey
to participate in a large-scale international aerial drill that it will be
hosting in Israel in 2013. The IAF has significantly increased the number of
joint-training drills it holds with foreign countries in recent
“There is nothing preventing them from participating,” the officer