(Photo credit: Times of Israel)
According to Israeli media, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned the recent attacks carried out in Israel, which left 11 Israelis dead.
On 1 April, during a phone call with his Israeli counterpart, Isaac Herzog, Erdogan referred to the killings as “terrorist” attacks and offered his condolences to Herzog.
“President Erdogan asked to send his condolences to the bereaved families who have lost their loved ones and wished a speedy recovery to the injured,” a statement from Herzog’s office said.
“Both presidents emphasized that on the eve of the holidays of Ramadan, Passover and Easter, there is a need for action to maintain calm in the whole region,” the statement added.
A statement from Erdogan’s office confirmed both the call between the two heads of state and the Turkish president’s condemnation of the “heinous” attacks carried out by Palestinians.
The statement also called for further progress in the energy sector between Israel and Turkey.
It also added that Erdogan explicitly urged Israel “not to prevent Palestinians from entering Al-Aqsa Mosque during the month of Ramadan,” and called on Israel to maintain its policy of closing the Al-Aqsa area to non-Muslims.
The call comes as Turkey and Israel attempt to improve their ties amid longstanding tensions. Herzog visited Turkey on 9 March, marking the first visit by an Israeli leader to Turkey since 2008.
Upon his arrival, hundreds of protestors gathered in Istanbul, burning Israeli flags in a show of support for the Palestinian cause and in protest against the normalization of ties with Israel.
Despite public animosity towards each other, the two nations have maintained links behind the scenes, especially in the area of trade.
Turkey is Israel’s sixth largest export partner, and in 2021, trade between the two countries reached $6.7 billion.