Turkey’s Erdogan congratulates Netanyahu on election win

News About Turkey - NAT
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan congratulated Benjamin Netanyahu on his recent election victory in a letter, according to a statement by the latter’s office made on Thursday.

The letter comes as Netanyahu is on the cusp of returning to power after his right-wing bloc secured a majority of seats in the Nov. 1 polls.

“I congratulate you on your victory in the elections and believe that the new government will continue the cooperation between the countries in all fields, in a way that will bring peace and stability to our region,” Erdoğan wrote, according to a statement from Netanyahu’s spokesman.

The two longstanding leaders have governed their respective eastern Mediterranean countries during a period of turbulent bilateral relations, though the tide has turned in recent months.

Ankara has yet to comment on the letter, but Erdoğan had said earlier in November that Türkiye would seek to “pursue relations with Israel on a basis of respect for… common interests”, irrespective of the winner of the elections.

“I believe that not only Türkiye and Israel but the whole region will benefit from win-win diplomacy,” he continued in a televised interview.

Netanyahu, whose second term in office ran from 2009 to 2021, is expected to be officially tasked with forming a new government on Sunday.

Israel’s outgoing government restored full relations with Ankara in August.

Türkiye and Israel have been taking steps to normalize the strained relations for the past two years, and in August, the countries agreed to restore full diplomatic ties and reappoint ambassadors and consuls general after a four-year hiatus.

Türkiye in 1949 became the first Muslim-majority nation to recognize Israel. Bilateral relations began to fray in 2008, following an Israeli military operation in Gaza.

Relations then froze in 2010 after the deaths of 10 civilians following an Israeli raid on the Turkish Mavi Marmara ship, part of a flotilla trying to breach a blockade by carrying aid into the Gaza enclave.

A brief reconciliation lasted from 2016 until 2018, when Türkiye withdrew its ambassador and expelled Israel’s over the killing of Palestinians during a conflict with Gaza.

Following months of diplomatic warming, Israel and Türkiye announced on Aug. 17 the full restoration of relations and the return of ambassadors to both countries.

Earlier this year, Israeli President Isaac Herzog visited Ankara as part of his first visit to Türkiye by an Israeli leader since 2008.


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