Erdogan plays nice with new Israeli president after ‘blood-sucking child killers’ remark

The announcement about the cordial call marked a departure from more than a decade of strained ties between Turkey and Israel.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Just two months after calling Israelis “child killing blood suckers,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan phoned newly sworn-in Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Monday evening to congratulate him on his new role.

According to a statement from the Israel President’s Office, the two men spoke for around 40 minutes.

“The presidents emphasized in their call that the ties between Israel and Turkey are of great importance to the security and the stability of the Middle East,” the statement said, adding that “there is great potential for cooperation between the countries in many fields, in particular the areas of energy, tourism and technology.”

While the two leaders have “differences of opinion” around resolving the Israeli -Palestinian conflict, they are committed to “ongoing dialogue” on the issue, the statement said.

The Turkish summary of the call, which was similar to the Israeli version, said that Erdogan had stressed the importance of ending the conflict via “a two-state, lasting and comprehensive solution within the framework of UN resolutions.”

The announcement about the cordial call marked a departure from more than a decade of strained ties between Turkey and Israel., which has seen envoys expelled, ambassadors recalled, and the suspension of diplomatic relations.

Turkey strongly backs the Palestinians, with Erdogan recently hosting PA President Mahmoud Abbas and publicly praising the Hamas terror group.

Last week, Erdogan promised Abbas that Turkey would help draw international attention to “Israeli oppression” of the Palestinians, and said that he understood the conflict could not end “if Israel’s policies continue.”

During the Israel-Hamas war in May, Erdogan bemoaned what he called Israeli brutality in remarks that were later condemned by the U.S. as anti-Semitic.

After saying Israel was committing “terrorism” against the Palestinians, the Turkish premier added, “It is in their nature. They are murderers, to the point that they kill children who are five or six years old. They only are satisfied by sucking their blood.”

Israel and Turkey suspended diplomatic relations for six years after the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla incident. Nine Turkish nationals were killed aboard a ship which was attempting to break Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza.

Turkey had claimed that the people killed were peaceful activists – however, footage from the scene proved that a number of the men were armed. Several physically attacked Israeli forces, with one Turkish man stabbing an IDF naval commando.

After reopening its embassy in Israel in 2017, Turkey closed it once again in 2018 after a series of violent clahses between the IDF and Palestinian protesters along the Gaza border fence.