Ankara appoints new ambassador to 'Israel'
This move characterizes a step further toward normalizing ties between Ankara and "Tel Aviv".
State-run Anadolu news agency reported on Thursday that Turkey appointed a new ambassador to "Israel" on Wednesday following a mutual decision taken last month to restore full diplomatic ties.
The appointee is named Sakir Ozkan Torunlar and has a history working as a senior diplomat in Turkey’s consul general in occupied al-Quds between 2010 and 2013, according to Anadolu.
In 2018, Turkey cut all diplomatic ties with "Israel" and expelled ambassadors over the killing of 60 Palestinians by Israeli forces during protests on the Gaza border.
Palestinians were at the time protesting against the US relocating its embassy to occupied Al-Quds.
Prior to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's electoral victory as prime minister in 2003, "Israel" and Turkey once enjoyed good relations.
But tensions peaked in 2010 when nine Turkish activists died in clashes after Israeli commandos boarded a vessel as it tried to break the blockade of Gaza 2010.
Last March, Israeli President Isaac Herzog visited Turkey to meet with Erdogan for further rapprochement.
In September, "Israel" appointed Irit Lillian as its ambassador to Turkey. Lillian had been in charge of the Israeli Embassy in Ankara for the last two years.
Read more: Turkey ignores Palestine, bolsters ties with 'Israel'
Erdogan and his government have a well-known history of often using the Palestinian cause to gather votes and public attention.
On March 25, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu boldly stated that “Turkey's diplomatic thaw with Israel will help the Palestinians."
But the motives behind the normalization of diplomatic ties stem from plans to negotiate the transportation of gas to the EU.
In May of this year, Turkish Presidential Spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said that gas from the Eastern Mediterranean could become an alternative to Russian supplies for the EU, adding that Ankara was ready to be part of this process.
"These negotiations [between Turkey and the Israeli occupation] are underway, as far as I know, the next meeting will be held in October," Kalin told reporters when asked the relevant question.
On August 15, it was reported that the two parties had restored full diplomatic ties.
Read more: “Israel” to restore full diplomatic ties with Turkey: PM Lapid