Israel's President Isaac Herzog sent his congratulations to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his latest presidential win.
In a statement released via Twitter, President Herzog expressed well wishes to the re-elected Turkish leader. He expressed an interest in continuing to develop the evolving relationship between the two Middle Eastern nations.
"Congratulations to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey on his election victory," he wrote. "I am convinced we will continue to work together to strengthen and expand the good ties between Turkey and Israel."
pic.twitter.com/M5RswVd3uq— Office of the President of Israel (@IsraelPresident) May 28, 2023
Herzog joined other world leaders such as Russia's Vladimir Putin, Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Sunday as they turned to social media to congratulate their Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan on his re-election, wishing him a "good term with a lot of work."
Diplomatic relations between Israel and Turkey
Herzog has previously invited Erdogan on an official visit, most recently when Turkish ambassador to Israel Sakir Ozkan Torunlar presented his credentials to Herzog. Herzog emphasized the importance that Israel attaches to relations with Turkey and the long common history that goes back centuries before the establishment of the state. The relationship has known crises in the past, he conceded, but is now on a very encouraging trajectory.
Recalling his visit to Turkey in March 2022, he said that relations had progressed rapidly since then and he was confident that they will advance further in the future for the benefit of the citizens of both countries and of the region.
His optimism was based on private conversations that he has had with Erdoğan, as well as what the Turkish president has said in public regarding the significance of the partnership between the two countries.
Such a visit by Erdoğan, he believes, will contribute to the deepening of relations and to increased cooperation. Torunlar confirmed that Erdoğan believes that the renewed relationship will be mutually beneficial, and stated that in Ankara last year he had heard both presidents make remarks to that effect.
"I am convinced we will continue to work together to strengthen and expand the good ties between Turkey and Israel."President Isaac Herzog
He noted that Turkey had been among the first countries to officially recognize the nascent State of Israel, and emphasized that Turkey had never been anti-Jewish or anti-Israel. Turkey, like Israel, is battling terrorism, he said, and is like-minded on other issues. He voiced regret that the scourge of antisemitism is continuing in even the most developed countries in the world. “It’s a disease like all forms of homophobia and racism,” he said.
Torunlar was pleased that Israeli tourism to Turkey has revived, and looks forward to it flourishing even more.
Although diplomatic relations had been downgraded, relations per se had never been severed, despite disagreements. “We can disagree and still be friends,” the Turkish ambassador said.
Greer Fay Cashman contributed to this report.