Erdogan ‘sharply condemns’ Palestinian terror attacks

Unusual Turkish denunciation made in phone call to President Isaac Herzog.

By David Hellerman, World Israel News

In a Friday phone call with Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan “sharply condemned” terror attacks that killed 11 people in the last two weeks.

According to a statement issued by Herzog’s office, “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.”

“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.

Turkey’s embassy in Tel Aviv also issued a statement last week denouncing the terror attacks in Beersheba, Hadera and Bnei Brak. Turkey does not commonly condemn Palestinian terror attacks.

Israel and Turkey are trying to mend ties after more than a decade of strained relations. Herzog visited Turkey in March.

According to a statement issued by Erdogan’s office, the Turkish president also stressed the importance of Palestinian worshippers having access to the Temple Mount during Ramadan.

Erdogan also used the call to noted the mutual benefits of expanding Israeli-Turkish energy ties. Erdogan is looking to partner with Israel to deliver natural gas to Europe.

Reuters reported on Thursday that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he will visit Israel and the Palestinian Authority in May for talks on exchanging ambassadors. However, Israel’s Foreign Ministry told the Times of Israel that no such visit is confirmed.