Israel President Herzog congratulates Turkey’s Erdogan over election victory


Tel Aviv — Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Sunday congratulated Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his electoral victory.

Herzog’s message of congratulations, which was delivered via Twitter, expressed his hope for improved relations between the two countries, stating that “Congratulations to President @RTErdogan of Türkiye on his election victory. I am convinced that we will continue to work together to strengthen and expand the good ties between Türkiye and Israel”.

Herzog’s action is a notable deviation from the hostile language that has marked the relationship between Israel and Turkey in recent times. Once strong allies, their bond weakened after Israel’s 2010 raid on a Turkish aid flotilla en route to Gaza, which led to the death of nine Turkish activists. This event triggered a range of disagreements between the two nations, including disputes over Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and Turkey’s support for Hamas.

Turkey was the first Muslim-majority nation to recognize Israel in March 1949, leading to a strong alliance between the two nations and a shared concern over the instability in the Middle East. However, the relationship between the two countries has soured in recent years. Nevertheless, in 2022, the two countries restored their relationship and normalized their ties.

Herzog’s message of congratulations to Erdogan is another indication of the willingness of both countries to move past their differences and work towards a more positive relationship. It is also a reflection of Herzog’s commitment to promoting peace and dialogue in the region. Since taking office in July 2021, Herzog has been vocal about his desire to improve Israel’s relations with its neighbors and has taken steps to reach out to leaders in the Arab world.

The fact that Herzog congratulated Erdogan on his election win is also significant, as it underscores the importance of respecting democratic processes and institutions. While Turkey’s recent elections have been subject to criticism from some quarters, Herzog’s message of congratulations is a clear signal that Israel recognizes the legitimacy of the country’s electoral process and institutions.

It is uncertain whether this act of goodwill will result in significant changes in the relationship between Israel and Turkey. There are still numerous issues that separate the two countries, and it will take more than a friendly message to bridge the gap. Nonetheless, Herzog’s move is a positive step in the correct direction, and it is expected that Erdogan and other Turkish leaders will reciprocate it.

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