Throughout the one-day trip, Cohen emphasized Israel’s solidarity with Turkey. “Israil Türkiye’nin yanında [Israel stands by Turkey],”
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen arrived in Turkey on Tuesday for a solidarity visit following the deadly earthquakes that struck the country.
Cohen met with President Erdogan as well as his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cabusoglu. He later toured the field hospital that Israel has set up in the region of the quake.
“Israel stands alongside Turkey at this difficult time and will continue to assist it through the activities of our forces and providing of humanitarian aid,” said Cohen upon his arrival.
'Israel stands with Turkey,'
Says FM Eli Cohen (@elicoh1) after meeting with Turkey's Foreign Minister, saying the country will continue providing earthquake aid, and announces that Israeli airlines will renew direct flight routes to Turkey on Thursday pic.twitter.com/R1DPvJ0Eyv
— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) February 14, 2023
At the meeting with Erdogan, Cohen discussed the growing Iranian threat and the importance of securing the release of the Gaza captives.
“[I] brought up the issue of the Israeli civilians and the bodies of the soldiers in the hands of the terrorist organization Hamas in Gaza, and we discussed the fight against the Iranian nuclear program,” Cohen said about his meeting with Erdogan.
“Relations between our countries are important for regional stability, and we will continue to work to strengthen them,” he told Erdogan. “Friends are measured especially in difficult times, and in this difficult hour, Israel reaches out to the Turkish people.”
“I expressed my condolences for the disaster and emphasized Israel’s commitment to continue providing support and assistance for the Turkish people as needed,” Cohen said.
During his trip, Cohen said Israeli airlines would resume direct flights to Turkey and predicted a 25% increase in tourism this year. An Israeli official said the flights were resuming as part of an airline security agreement reached last year.
“We will definitely warm the important relations between your important and beautiful country and Israel,” he said, adding that a million Israelis would visit Turkey in 2023, up from 800,000 who flew there last year aboard foreign airlines.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu lauded the improved bilateral ties between the two countries during a joint press conference with Cohen.
The two countries have “opened a new page,” as evidenced by the Israeli support after the earthquake.
Israel’s search-and-rescue teams have helped pull 19 people out of the rubble, and its medical team set up a field hospital operated by the IDF so far treating over 400 survivor. Israel has provided Turkey with 60 tons of humanitarian assistance, including winter clothing, medical supplies and equipment, the Foreign Ministry said.
This year, we want to do more to bless Israel and the Jewish people.
We know that as we bless Israel this year, God will bless us, just as He promised in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Now is the time to bless Israel and the Jewish people.