Flowers are placed near a portrait of murdered Russian ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Eitan Na’eh, Israel’s new ambassador to Turkey, opened a letter on Tuesday morning from one of his colleagues in Ankara welcoming him to his job.
“I look forward with great pleasure in entering both into official and personal relations with you and avail myself of this opportunity to assure you of my sincere desire to maintain and strengthen the excellent relations which so happily exists between the two countries we serve,” read the letter.
It was sent by Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov, who was assassinated the night before
Na’eh told Israel Radio on Wednesday that he got the chills when he opened the letter.
Soon after Na’eh presented his credentials to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan some two weeks ago, he sent out letters of introduction to all of his colleagues in Ankara.
Karlov, he said, was one of the first to respond, and the letter that he wrote was apparently one of his last official acts before being killed.
Na’eh said that diplomatics in Ankara are in shock over the murder. “These are difficult days for the diplomatic corps here,” he said, noting the tension in the air.
He said while the security around the Israeli delegation is always high, it too was increased following Karlov’s assassination.
“We are in good hands,” he said. “The Turks are definitely cooperating and respond to all our requests, and even offer additional help.”
Na’eh said that the members of the Israeli delegation are alert, like all the other diplomats in the Turkish capital, though perhaps even more so.
“Israeli diplomats are on the front in many places, and have been a target for attacks, more than once,” he said, adding that for Israeli delegations abroad the security concerns lurking in the background are nothing new. “We live in when we serve abroad."