ANKARA, July 4. /TASS/. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed the hope that Turkey’s relations with Russia and Israel will develop in a positive way.
"We are developing relations with Israel and Russia," the president said in his written address to the nation on the occasion of the end of Ramadan, a holy month of fasting and prayer for Muslims worldwide. "Positive reciprocal steps taken over the past few weeks give us hope for the future," he said, adding that Turkey "is overcoming the crises caused by the problems in Syria, terrorism and artificial tension and is reestablishing relations" with other countries.
The normalizations of Turkey’s relations with Russia and Israel began last week. Ankara has had no full-fledged direct contacts with Moscow since November 2015 when the Turkish Air Force shot down Russia’s Sukhoi Su-24 jet over Syria. Direct talks between the two countries’ top diplomats were held on July 1 in Sochi thanks to Erdogan’s letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin, in which he apologized for the incident.
Ankara’s relations with Israel have been minimized over the past 6 years after Israeli commandos seized the Mavi Marmara humanitarian vessel that attempted to break the blockade of Gaza. On June 27, the two sides announced an agreement to mend relations.