Turkey, Israel to resume direct flights amid earthquake disaster

Turkey, Israel to resume direct flights amid earthquake disaster
A+ A-
Turkish and Israeli foreign ministers said the cooperation between the two countries will further develop

Direct flights between Turkey and Israel will resume on Thursday, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said.

Paying a visit to Turkey in support of last week’s devastating earthquakes, Cohen pledged to continue to cooperate with Ankara in such difficult days, Arti Gercek reported.

"Israel was one of the first countries to send support to Turkey following the earthquake and we will continue our support in the future. Humanitarian aid has no limits,” Cohen said during a press conference with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Cavusoglu also thanked Israeli state and its people for their solidarity and support.

At least 31,643 people have been killed by the massive earthquakes that hit Turkey on Feb.6.

Following the catastrophic quakes, countries all over the world have sent search and rescue teams and provided humanitarian aid in support of earthquake survivors in Turkey.

Cohen said Israel has sent a search and rescue and a medical team comprising of a total of 450 people and provided hundreds of thousands of tons of medical supplies and humanitarian aid to Turkey.

Adding that Israel has also established a field hospital in Kahamanmaras, the epicenter of the earthquakes, Cohen said he will visit the hospital during his visit.

"Israel is one of the first countries that sent support to Türkiye," said Cavusoglu, noting that Israeli teams were also one of the "largest" on the ground.

Israel has provided “serious support” in search and rescue efforts in earthquake-hit Kahramanmaras, Cavusoglu said.

Turkey and Israel are making efforts to mend relations that was deeply fractured more than a decade, over a string of disputed issues, including Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians and Turkey’s close ties with Hamas which is designated as a terrorist organisation by Israel and the United States.

In August, the two governments decided to restore full diplomatic relations and reappoint ambassadors. In October, Ankara and Israel named envoys, first assignments to the posts since May 2018, when Turkey expelled Israel’s ambassador and recalled its own envoy in Tel-Aviv over Israeli attacks on the Palestinians in Gaza.