Turkish gov't officials stay away from Israel Independence Day event in Ankara

Turkish flag (photo credit: REUTERS)
Turkish flag
(photo credit: REUTERS)
An Independence Day celebration hosted by the Israeli Embassy at a hotel in Ankara on Wednesday was attended by the US Ambassador John Bass, but not by Turkish government officials, a sign that five years after the Mavi Marmara incident, formal relations between the two states are showing no sign of improvement.
The event was covered in the Turkish press, which emphasized that Ankara did not send any government representative, and that journalists attending were subject to a rigorous security search, something that put a number of them off.
The reports also stressed that the Turkish and Israeli flags flew side-by-side in the ballroom of the Swissotel.
Turkey downgraded ties with Israel following the 2010 Gaza flotilla incident, and expelled its ambassador in September 2011.
Jerusalem is now represented in Ankara by a chargé d’affaires, Amira Oron. According to the Turkish press, Oron on Wednesday said Israel hoped to “normalize and improve relations” with Turkey.