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Erdogan, 'staunchest critic' of Israel, to mend broken ties with the Jewish state

Turkey was the first Muslim nation to recognise Israel and have bilateral ties with the Jewish state

Thursday December 17, 2020 11:04 AM, ummid.com News Network

Turkey relation with Israel

Ankara: Tayyip Erdogan, highlighted as the "staunchest critic" of Israel is said to be moving fast to mend Turkey's broken relation with the Jewish state, multiple media reports said.

Turkey was the first Muslim nation to recognise Israel and have bilateral ties with the Jewish state. Bilateral ties between the two countries were normalised in 1949 that later grew to the level of cultural, trade, and even defence.

Relation between the two countries soured after Tayyip Erdogan came to the power in Turkey leading to the now infamous exchange between the Turkish leader with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu over aid to the Palestinians in Gaza.

Tayyip Erdogan and his propaganda machinery went amok when UAE decided to establish a diplomatic relation with Israel.

Erdogan had even threatened suspending diplomatic ties with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and withdrawing its ambassador from the Gulf state over its decision to establish ties with Israel.

But, Israel's diplomatic outreach in the Middle East widened with Bahrain following the UAE in a span of few months, and a week ago on December 10, 2020 Morocco too decided to have a diplomatic relation with the Jewish state.

The same Erdogan now is working overnight to mend Turkey's broken ties with Israel, and has picked Jerusalem-educated Ufuk Ulutas to lead efforts to build bridges with Israel.

Ulutas currently heads the foreign ministry’s research centre but is not a career diplomat, having previously led a pro-government think-tank, according to Al-Montior.

Ulutas studied Hebrew and Middle East politics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, according to biographical details on the think-tank’s website.

Al-Monitor in its report further said that Turkey has selected Ufuk Ulutas as the new ambassador to Israel in line with efforts to normalize relations with the Jewish state and score brownie points with the incoming administration of US President-elect Joe Biden.

News of the new ambassador came after reports that the intelligence chiefs of Turkey and Israel had met to pave the way for improved ties.

“They may have agreed in principle to a gradual normalisation so I would expect this rhetoric to stop and the leaders to stop communicating through the media,” a former senior Turkish diplomat told Al Jazeera.


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