Turkey and Israel work to build economic and social ties, even as political relations stall

Global Business

Since the 2010 Gaza flotilla crisis, in which nine Turkish activists were killed in international waters by the Israeli military, diplomatic ties between Turkey and Israel have been minimal. Despite this, economic and social cooperation between the two countries have continued and even grown. CCTV America’s Michal Bardavid reported this story from Istanbul, Turkey.

Israeli-Turkish relations hit an all-time low in 2010 after Israel’s raid of a Gaza flotilla, where nine Turkish activists were killed. Since then, anti-Israel protests have erupted in both Istanbul and Ankara on several occasions.

However Ohad Avidan Kaynar, the deputy consul general of the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul said that as they end the year, the two countries have passed $5 billion in mutual trade and the two countries have had good cooperation between civil society organizations.

“There are cultural events taking place either in Israel or in Turkey which require some cooperation. These are a good signs, which means there is a way to pull out of this crisis,” Kaynar said. “There is a need for lowering of harmful rhetoric and creating trust between two sides. There is definitely a way out of this crisis.”

Yet, some political analysts are not as optimistic.

“[The] Turkish government has been very much insisting that Israel meets all the conditions that the Turkish side has put forth, particularly regarding the Gaza blockade, restoring diplomatic ties seems quite a remote possibility,” said Sami Kohen, a political analyst.

Turkey and Israel work to build economic and social ties, even as political relations stall

Since the 2010 Gaza flotilla crisis, in which nine Turkish activists were killed in international waters by the Israeli military, diplomatic ties between Turkey and Israel have been minimal. Despite this, economic and social cooperation between the two countries have continued and even grown. CCTV America's Michal Bardavid reported this story from Istanbul, Turkey.

There are also efforts to bring to improve their relationship through tourism. The year 2015 has been declared the ‘Year of Jerusalem’ and Israel hopes to increase the number of Turkish tourists to it’s capital city.