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Turkey names new ambassador to Israel after countries restore diplomatic ties

Prime Minister Yair Lapid, left, meets Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan in New York, September 20, 2022. (Avi Ohayon/GPO)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid, left, meets Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan in New York, September 20, 2022. (Avi Ohayon/GPO)

Turkey names Sakir Ozkan Torunlar as ambassador to Israel after the two countries recently announced the restoration of diplomatic ties.

Torunlar is a veteran diplomat who previously served as Turkey’s consul general in Jerusalem and was also ambassador to India.

Israel last month named Irit Lillian, a senior diplomat who played a key role in Israel-Turkey reconciliation, to serve as the next ambassador to Turkey.

Lillian has been Israel’s charge d’affaires in Ankara since February 2021, during which time both sides have moved slowly to restore full diplomatic relations.

There have not been ambassadors since 2018 when Turkey recalled its ambassador and asked Israel’s to leave, in protest of Israel’s response to rioting on the Gaza border in which dozens of Palestinians were killed.

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