Israeli government bars minister from traveling to Turkey

PNN/Bethlehem/

The Israeli government prevented an Israeli deputy minister from traveling to Turkey to participate in breaking the fast during Ramadan

According to Ma’an News, the Israeli government refused to allow Ayoub Kara, the Druze deputy minister for regional cooperation from the Likud party, to travel to Turkey. The main objective of the visit was to strengthen the relationship between Israel and Turkey, an important state in the region, in order to join forces against ISIS and other terrorist organisations present in the region. The visit was scheduled to happen two days ago.

Israeli-Turkish relations have remained tense following the death of eight Turkish nationals and one American-Turkish activist on the Mavi Marmara flotilla sent from Turkey to Gaza in May 2010. According to Al Jazeera, Israel officially apologised for its mistakes during the raid, however the countries have yet to agree on a compensation deal.

Kara had been invited by important figures in Turkey to attend the Iftar ceremony during the holy month of Ramadan, however Ma’an writes that Kara claimed to have been pressured by high-standing employees in the Prime Minister’s office as well as the Foreign Ministry to cancel his trip to Turkey due to various reasons. According to Kara, one of the reasons was that Sheikh Adnan, who organised the Iftar, is at odds with the Turkish authorities, and it could further harm relations between the two countries should Kara attend events with Sheikh Adnan. The decision to not attend the Iftar resulted in harsh criticism from Turkish circles against Israel.