Israel and Turkey edge to détente

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 23, 2011

Israel and Turkey are working to resolve the diplomatic differences that have clouded the once "strategic" relationship between the two countries.

Israeli officials have interpreted the recent announcement by Turkish movement IHH that it would not be participating in the upcoming flotilla to Gaza as a signal of the willingness of the government in Ankara to improve relations.

A combination o


Turkey's IHH won't send ship on flotilla to Gaza

By Jennifer Lipman, June 17, 2011

Technical problems have been blamed for the decision by Turkish activists not to send a ship in a flotilla to Gaza later this month.

The president of the Islamist group IHH, Bulent Yildirim, said they would not be able to participate.


New dawn for Turkey-Israel ties?

By Anshel Pfeffer, June 16, 2011

Israeli and Turkish diplomats are hopeful that following the victory of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Sunday's general elections, an opportunity has opened up for an improvement in relations between the two countries.


Jewish graves smashed in Turkey

By Jennifer Lipman, April 27, 2011

Vandals have smashed headstones at a Jewish cemetery in Istanbul.

The incident, which happened on the final day of Passover, left at least eight gravestones damaged at the Beyoglu cemetery.

Police are looking at security camera footage to investigate what happened.


'Martyr' cry as Marmara docks

By Sami Kohen, December 29, 2010

A large crowd waving Turkish and Palestinian flags and chanting anti-Israeli slogans welcomed the Mavi Marmara, the Gaza-bound ship on which nine Turkish nationals died after a clash with Israeli commandos last May, as she docked at Istanbul port on Saturday.

The crowd included close relatives and friends of those who were killed, and a ceremony at was held the port to venerate the nine "martyrs", as they are widely known in Turkey.


Oil sparks new Israel-Turkey crisis

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 22, 2010

A new agreement on exploration rights at sea between Israel and Cyprus has once again pushed Israel's relationship with Turkey into a diplomatic crisis. Meanwhile, the talks to end the impasse over Israel's apology for the incident of the Gaza flotilla have bogged down.

Three weeks ago, Turkey's willingness to help Israel fight the blaze on Mount Carmel, signalled by sending two fire-fighting aircraft to battle the flames, gave hope that the stormy relations between the two nations - not long ago strategic allies - could be on the mend.


Turkish aid for forest fire brings diplomatic thaw

By Anshel Pfeffer, December 9, 2010

The aid sent by the Turkish government to help fight the blaze on Mount Carmel offered an opportunity to improve the relations between the two countries.

In the wake of the fire, discussions took place this week over an Israeli apology for the Gaza flotilla incident and compensations to the families of nine Turkish citizens killed by Israeli naval commandos.

On Friday, Turkey sent two firefighting planes to take part in the international effort to end the fire on the Carmel at the request of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.


Turkey lists Israel as security 'threat'

By Anshel Pfeffer, November 4, 2010

Turkey now regards Israel as a "major threat" to its security.

According to Turkish newspapers, the country's National Security Council made the assessment last week in its new five-yearly strategic report.

The security agency took four of the country's neighbours, Syria, Bulgaria, Armenia and Georgia, off the list. Greece, which recently began carrying out joint military exercises with Israel, remains on the threat list.


Turkey trip for fast-track young leaders

By Katie Taylor, October 21, 2010

Jewish Child's Day has joined forces with UJIA and youth movement Hanoar Hatzioni to launch a fast-track leadership programme for teenagers featuring a generous measure of Turkish delight.

Aimed at 16- and 17-year-olds, the nationwide programme will include monthly seminars and cover financial planning, budgeting, PR and management skills.

"These are important skills which can help teenagers not only in their future careers, but at A-level and university level as well," said JCD executive director Daniel Burger.


Jewish billionaire: sex-scandal is Turkish plot

By Jennifer Lipman, October 13, 2010

A senior figure in the World Jewish Congress has accused Turkey of an anti-Israel smear campaign after it was alleged that he had been involved in a prostitution scandal.

Alexander Machkevtich, the billionaire head of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, had been linked in Turkish news reports to a raid of a yacht last month after which police took two underage prostitutes into custody.