Israeli President Isaac Herzog met with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday for a one-day rare visit to Turkey in an effort to mend fractured ties between the two countries.

Erdogan described the Israeli president’s visit as “historic” and “a turning point” in Turkish-Israeli relations. He said the country is ready to cooperate with Israel in the energy sector, revealing that the Turkish foreign and energy ministers will soon visit Israel.

In a statement in Hebrew, Herzog said it is a great honour for both countries to lay the foundations of developing friendly relations between them.


It is pertinent to mention that Ankara has close ties with Hamas. Despite the rare visit, Turkey has ruled out abandoning its commitment to supporting Palestinian statehood.

Talking about Palestine, Erdogan said, “I underlined the importance we attach to the historical status of Jerusalem and the preservation of the religious identity and sanctity of Masjid Aqsa.” In response, the Israeli president said, “We must agree in advance that we will not agree on everything, that is the nature of relations with a past as rich as ours.”

This is the first visit of the Israeli president to Ankara since 2007. In 2018, Ankara recalled its diplomats and ordered Israel’s envoy out of the country.

The visit was made after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s interview in which he called Israel a “potential ally” of the Kingdom.

In 2020, two Gulf countries— Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates normalised ties with Israel.