Turkish frigate Kemalreis – Photo: SHIP HUB
Relations between the two US allies are improving after tensions over the Palestinian issue.
On September 3, the Turkish frigate Kemalreis docked at the Israeli port of Haifa as part of NATO exercises in the Mediterranean. Kemalreis was accompanied by an American destroyer.
“The docking is part of Israel’s cooperation and support with NATO,” the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement.
An Israeli official said Ankara had offered to allow the crew to disembark and rest on shore.
Theo Times of Israel, the IDF and the Turkish Navy do not have joint exercises or other interactions planned. Kemalreis is considered one of the most modern ships of the Turkish navy.
A Haifa port official said it was the first time a Turkish navy ship had visited since 2010, when bilateral relations broke down when Israel attacked a pro-Palestinian aid convoy, killing 10 Turks. die.
For its part, Israel has voiced opposition to Turkey’s reception of members of Hamas – the Palestinian Islamic movement considered a terrorist group in the West.
However, the two countries have moved to mend relations in recent months, with energy being the main area for potential cooperation. The two sides are expected to appoint new ambassadors soon.