President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signed the order to appoint Şakir Özkan Torunlar as Turkey’s ambassador to Israel on Friday, completing the months-long procedure.
The procedure started on 17 August, with Torunlar becoming the first ambassador to be appointed to Israel as part of normalisation efforts between the two countries. Israel’s new ambassador Irit Lillian arrived in Ankara on 20 September.
Tensions between the countries have remained high over the last decade, particularly over Israel’s approach towards Palestinian territories. Turkey downgraded relations with Israel in 2018 after 60 people were killed by Israeli forces on the Gaza border during mass protests against Washington’s decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. In return, Israel expelled Turkey’s ambassador.
More recent disputes include Israel’s cooperation with Greece, Cyprus and Egypt in extracting and delivering to Europe natural gas from the Mediterranean.