Israel appoints ambassador to Ankara after 4 year hiatus
In a sign of full normalization of the bilateral relationship with Ankara, Israel has appointed an ambassador to Türkiye after almost four years. Current chargé d’affairs of the Israeli Embassy in Ankara, Irit Lillian is named as the new Israeli Ambassador to Türkiye, according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
Türkiye and Israel have been in a process of reconciliation since late 2021 with the purpose of mending the sour ties between the two regional neighboring countries. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Israeli President Isaac Herzog as well as Prime Minister Yair Lapid established senior-level contacts in the past months to make the normalization possible.
The two foreign ministers had announced the decision to level up the mutual diplomatic representation at a meeting in early summer. On Aug. 17, the two sides announced that they will soon appoint ambassadors to each other’s countries for a full normalization of ties.
The first move came from Israel. Lillian, a senior Israeli diplomat serving as the chargé d’affairs in Ankara since 2022, will present his credentials to President Erdoğan in the coming period and serve as the ambassador.
The same move is also expected from the Turkish government. Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu informed that his ministry has prepared a comprehensive decree that includes the new Turkish ambassador to Israel. The decree will be made public following the approval of President Erdoğan, he said.
Türkiye and Israel had withdrawn their envoys in 2018 after the latter’s security forces killed scores of civilian Palestinians protesting the United States’ decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The ties between the two nations have long been suffering in the past decade, first due to the “One Minute” crisis in Davos and later the killing of 10 Turkish men by the Israeli commandos in an incident dubbed the Mavi Marmara crisis.
The new ambassador said on Twitter that she was honored to continue “this journey, putting two amazing countries, so close to my heart, back together again.”
“Thank you dear friends for your warm wishes after being chosen as the designated ambassador of Israel in Türkiye,” she added.