Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the intelligence relations between his country and Israel have not been broken, and that Ankara’s problem is with some people in the hierarchy of Israeli authority.
In a press statement in Istanbul, after performing the Friday prayers, Erdogan explained that Israel’s policies towards Palestine are unacceptable because it does not conform to the concepts of justice, as he put it.
The two sides’ relations have been severely strained in recent years, despite the strong trade relations, and they exchanged expulsion of ambassadors in 2018. Ankara has repeatedly condemned the Israeli occupation in the West Bank and its treatment of the Palestinians.
“Policy towards Palestine is a red line for us. It is impossible for us to accept the Israeli policy towards Palestine. Their ruthless behavior there is unacceptable,” Erdogan said.
“If there were no issues at the highest levels, our relations would have been completely different … We want to take our relations to a better point,” he said.
The relationship between Ankara and Tel Aviv has been strained since the Israeli attack on the “Freedom Flotilla”, which caused the killing of Turkish citizens in 2010, and the two sides exchanged the expulsion of ambassadors in 2018 due to an Israeli aggression in Gaza during which Israeli forces killed dozens of Palestinians on the border with the Gaza Strip, but trade between the two sides continued. without interruption.
Last August, Israel accused Turkey of granting passports to about 10 Hamas members in Istanbul, describing this as a “very unfriendly step” that the government would raise with Turkish officials.