Election rally in Turkey
Photo: AFP

'Israel, Turkey, as close as ever'

Turkish ambassador to Israel says, 'We see Israel as the country we trust most, elections haven't changed a thing'; adds Turkey will continue to act as a courier between Jerusalem and Damascus

The re-election of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the return of his Islamic Justice and Development party to power will have no impact on Turkish-Israeli relations, Turkey's Ambassador to Israel, Namik Tan, said Wednesday.


"There's not going to be anything different in anything we experienced until now in Turkish-Israeli relations," Tan told a panel organized by the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, called to discuss "the Middle East after the Turkish Elections."


Speaking to Ynetnews, Tan said the Turkish government would continue to act as a courier between Jerusalem and Damascus and deliver messages between the two countries.


"We're not intermediaries, but we are facilitators," Tan said, adding: "We did our best to deliver messages to both sides (from one another), but unfortunately this did not get solid results yet."


Addressing the Iranian nuclear program, the ambassador said: "We do not want Iran to get nuclear weapons. We advise them to refrain from doing that, and to cooperate with the international community."


'We are honored to host Israelis'

Tan added that he did not believe military action against Tehran would bring desirable results. 


The Turkish ambassador told the panel that "Israel is so important to Turkey... it is at the very top of Turkey's foreign policy," Erdogan said. "We see Israel as our number one county that we trust, it plays a very important role in our considerations."


During his address, Tan sought to reassure Israeli concerns about the results of the Turkish events, and alay fears that Turkey was embarking on a process of Islamification.


He described questions by Israelis on whether they could continue to visit Turkey as "ridiculous," declaring: "Whatever party comes into power doesn't make any difference on our principle stance of seeing Israel as a close and friendly ally."


"After these elections, nothing will change," he said.


"Turkey will continue to be a popular destination for Israeli tourists of course, we are honored to host them in our country," Tan said, adding that Turkey's close military relations with Israel would continue.


"We will do our best to help our friends in Israel. We will continue to be a real example of democracy in this troubled region, together with Israel. The important cooperation between our two countries in every mode of life will continue to flourish," Tan said.



פרסום ראשון: 07.25.07, 18:43
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