Turkey’s new ambassador to Israel presents his letter of credence to President Isaac Herzog, officially filling a role that has been empty for more than four years.
Sakir Ozkan Torunlar, who landed in Israel in November, is a veteran diplomat who previously served as Turkey’s consul general in Jerusalem — effectively its ambassador to the Palestinians — and was most recently ambassador to India.
In his speech after receiving the letter, Herzog invites Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Israel.
“It is a relationship that has known crises in the past but is now, to our delight, on a very encouraging trajectory,” says Herzog, pointing at the potential for cooperation in tourism, academia, energy, science, culture, and agriculture.
In his speech, Torunlar stresses the importance of maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount, but notably does not mention the Palestinian issue.
He also expresses Turkey’s hope that bilateral trade will grow to $15 billion in the near future.
The ambassadors of Australia, Philippines, El Salvador, and Korea also presented their credentials to Herzog earlier in the day.