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Sailors said not to have passports, are unable to leave ship

Turkish warship docks in Israel for 1st time in over a decade

The TCG Kemalreis, which is being accompanied by a US destroyer as part of a NATO mission, arrives in Haifa after recent reestablishment of full ties between Jerusalem and Ankara

The TCG Kemalreis, a Barbaros-class frigate belonging to Turkey's navy, docks in Haifa on September 3, 2022. (Screen capture: Twitter)
The TCG Kemalreis, a Barbaros-class frigate belonging to Turkey's navy, docks in Haifa on September 3, 2022. (Screen capture: Twitter)

A Turkish warship anchored Saturday at an Israeli port for the first time in over a decade, after the recent reestablishment of ties between Jerusalem and Ankara.

The TCG Kemalreis, a Barbaros-class frigate, docked in Haifa along with the USS Forrest Sherman, an American guided missile destroyer, as part of a NATO drill. Video showed the TCG Kemalreis being escorted into port.

The ships are expected to remain in Israel for several days.

“The docking is part of Israel’s cooperation with and support of NATO,” a statement from the Israel Defense Forces said.

No drills or other interactions are planned between the IDF and the Turkish ship, considered one of the most modern vessels in Turkey’s navy.

The TCG Kemalreis is the first Turkish warship to dock in Israel since 2010, according to Hebrew media reports.

The Turkish sailors did not have passports, and could therefore not leave the ship. An official told the Walla news site that “they have no interest in going ashore right now.” The American sailors were exempt from the passport requirement, the official added.

The ship’s arrival comes after Israel and Turkey agreed to reestablish full diplomatic ties last month, following a year of warming relations between the nations.

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