Israel hails sincere cooperation with Turkey after Istanbul attack

Israel hails sincere cooperation with Turkey after Istanbul attack

Serkan Demirtaş - ANKARA
Israel hails sincere cooperation with Turkey after Istanbul attack

DHA photo

Israel hailed the sincere and very helpful cooperation it has received from Turkish officials in the immediate aftermath of deadly Istanbul attack in which its three citizens have been killed and envisaged this good as a way to help talks for the normalization of relations strained after the Mavi Marmara crisis of 2010. 

Dore Gold, general-director of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, has arrived in Istanbul during the late afternoon and was scheduled to meet with Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Feridun Sinirlioğlu and Istanbul Governor Vasip Şahin. 

“The cooperation we have received from the Turkish officials was very sincere and very helpful,” an Israeli diplomatic source told Hürriyet Daily News on March 20. “It was more than 100 percent,” added the source. 

Three Israeli citizens identified as 60-year-old Simha Simon Demri, 40 year-old Yonathan Suher and 70-year-old Avaham Godman, along with an Iranian, a 31-year-old Ali Rıza Khalman, were killed in a suicide bomb attack on March 19 in Istanbul’s busy İstiklal Street. Turkish police said identified the perpetrator as Mehmet 24-year-old Öztürk who had links with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). 

The Israeli diplomat’s meeting with the Istanbul governor overwhelmingly focused on the details of the attack.  

Gold’s meeting with Sinirlioğlu has particular significance as the two diplomats have long been crafting a deal that would reconcile bilateral relations between the two countries. They negotiated an agreement in two meetings last year in Rome and in Geneva that would let the Israeli state pay compensation to the families of the Mavi Marmara victims and to allow unrestricted Turkish humanitarian access to Gaza. 

Gold and Sinirlioğlu negotiated these issues for a first time at a meeting in Turkey and diplomatic sources said the aforementioned negotiations would be on the two men’s agenda. 

“What we saw from the Turkish officials was the good will [in the aftermath of attack]. It was very clear. We can use this for widening the volume of our relations,” the diplomatic source said. 

Not only the level of cooperation but the way Turkey expressed its sorrow over the killing of Israeli citizens have also been appreciated by Israeli officials. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has sent a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, expressing his condolences to the people of Israel on behalf of the Turkish people.