Popular Articles

Herzog and Erdogan agree to enhance economic and diplomatic relations

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

President Isaac Herzog of Israel with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. (Screencap: IFM YouTube)

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

A night before President Isaac Herzog of Israel made his historic visit to Ankara to meet with Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, “#GettheHellOut” type of hashtags were trending broadly on Twitter.

Israeli flags hung in honor of the visiting president were torn down by Islamists, and newspapers reflecting this side of the socio-political spectrum came out with harsh criticisms of President Erdogan’s rapprochement policies. The Islamists were divided over open channels of dialogue between the two countries.

Words of greetings and “peace”, “shalom”, “barış”, were marked on the body of Herzog’s plane, along with “partnership” and “future”, as an act of detente from Israel’s part. 

In his statement over the clouds, Herzog made his point: “We do not agree with Turkey on all issues. Our relations have ups and downs. However, we can rebuild them carefully in a sober way…”;

During his speech to reporters at the Ankara airport on March 9, he added, “Bridges and ties with Turkey are in Israeli and regional interest. I hope this visit leads to a deeper dialogue between Israel and Turkey.”

President Erdogan welcomed his guest at the Presidential Palace. Herzog’s arrival has been one of the most iconic scenes ever seen. A team of cavalrymen escorted him. Two of them were holding Israeli and Turkish flags, an instance to be seen. But was it a gesture of frankness or an assertive act of show business? After years during which relations had deteriorated deliberately from Erdogan’s side, this seemed to be much like an epic theater, nice to see, though…

Get thej.ca a Pro Israel Voice by Email. Never miss a top story that effects you, your family & your community

The first steps leading to the visit date back to various meetings held at the Turkish Embassy in Washington, where leaders of the Jewish organizations in the US met bureaucrats from

MFA in Ankara under the auspices of Ambassador Murat Mercan.

Being isolated among its NATO partners and East Mediterranean neighbors, heading towards a no-winner end in Syria with the Russian-backed Bashir Assad regime, it was indeed time for Ankara to go forward in seeing new partnerships: and why not with Israel, again?

Israel had set good relations with UAE and Bahrain, flirted with Egypt, Jordan with whom it already signed peace agreements years ago, erected diplomatic relations with Morocco, held secret talks with Saudi Arabia.

Furthermore, Israel had great strong ties with Azerbaijan, a country so dear for Turkey! Indeed, the coordinated efforts of the three countries in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict against Armenia in 2020 eased the way of the Turco Israeli talks.

Would it be easy for Israel to forget all that President Erdogan said against her? How his “terror state” allegations could be overlooked? How could his deep sympathy for Hamas could be bypassed? Hamas had always been welcomed in Ankara, and it’s no secret that influential political and military leaders of the organization were living in Turkey under Erdogan’s protection. That should be not easy to digest for Israel, and most probably for President Herzog himself also.

On the other hand, the Israeli satan should have never been pardoned for most Islamist circles in Turkey. These were people killing innocent Muslims in Palestine, hurting the feelings of the ummah with their endless attacks of the Holy Al Aqsa. Jerusalem, the eternal and actual capital of Israel, was stolen from Muslims and was under the siege of the Zionists. etc. etc.: All this is the rhetoric of that man now shaking hands with the president of the State of Israel in Ankara.

The reception line for the Israeli president and his entourage upon disembarking in Ankara, Turkey. (Screencap: Israeli Press Office)

There is no friendship among nations… All that counts is mutual interests. That would thus be one of the most important implications of that meeting.

After three and a half hours of talks, it had been agreed that Ministers of Economy and Energy would visit Israel in the coming weeks; that economic relations that are already booming would be promoted – a large delegation of Turkish business people will visit Israel – that intel sharing would go ahead increasingly to the benefit of the regional peace efforts. And maybe that diplomatic relations would be improved as both countries hold only chargés d’affaires in their respective capitals.

However, an important note: The presidency in Israel is an honorary post and has no political power to implement all these steps. Obviously, Herzog’s visit to Ankara should have been approved by the Israeli government; still, one cannot just put this fact out of the frame. One could also have expected dialogue with PM Bennett, once Netanyahu, despised by Erdogan, yielded the power.

And last but not least Turkish expectation would be the restoration of the ties with the Jewish Lobby in the US, thus improving diplomatic relations with Washington, those relations that were at the lowest level of its history. Once again, the path to Washington would pass through Jerusalem. Who knows?

The Turkish Jewish community was represented by a delegation in the reception at the Presidential Palace, given to the honor of President Herzog and his wife. Once again, the Jews of Turkey were driven into their traditional task of mediation between Israel and the Jewish Lobby in the US. Once again, they were the stars of the venues.

The next day, President Herzog and his wife Michal visited the Neve Shalom Synagogue, the traditional spot of many Islamist attacks. He was greeted with joyful clapping and shofar blasts by the Turkish Jewish Community. He was called to read a portion – Vayikra – of the Torah and deliver a speech where he confirmed warming relations and deepening ties between the two countries.

The details of this moving speech and the course of the two countries relations – also in the light of the destabilizing war in Ukraine – will be the subject of a following article.

Marsel Russo was born in Istanbul and was raised in a secular Jewish family. He holds a Chemistry degree and an MBA. His deep interest in the Jewish history of the 20th century, as well as other topics, has appeared since 2005 in Shalom, the weekly newspaper of the Jewish community of Turkey.

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Click an icon above to share, email, or save this article

Read More

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

We thank you for your ongoing support.

Happy reading!

cOMING SOON…….

Breaking News

Recent

Features

News

Current Events

Opinions

Politics

Religion

Culture

Memoriam and Obituaries

PodcastS

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved

Subscribe Now

Receive the latest in community & international Jewish news direct to your inbox

Terms and Conditions

Privacy Policy

About Us

Advertise with us

contact 

© 2020 THEJ.CA, All Rights Reserved