Israeli airline flights to Turkey to resume after five-year hiatus

Dec. 20, 2013 at 12:25 PM   |   Comments

ANKARA, Turkey, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Israel will resume flights to Turkey after a five-year hiatus caused by security concerns, officials say.

Israeli Transportation Minister Israel Katz said an agreement to restart the flights was signed this week after months of negotiations, Hurriyet Daily News reported Thursday.

Scheduled and charter flights to Turkey had stopped because of Israeli concerns about security at the airports at which the planes landed.

The agreement resolves those concerns, with Israeli officials saying Turkey had given them satisfactory answers and solutions.

Giora Romm, director-general of the Israeli Civil Aviation Authority, said flights are expected to resume by next summer.

Turkish Airlines has 60 flights into Israel each week.

Relations between Turkey and Israel have been in a slump in recent years, with the most recent decline in 2010 caused by Israeli forces raiding a Turkish aid vessel, the Mavi Marmara, as it tried to break the Gaza blockade, Today's Zaman reported.

Israeli Environmental Affairs Minister Amir Peretz signaled early this month relations between the countries might be on the mend.

After meeting with Turkish officials on the sidelines of a U.N.-sponsored conference in Istanbul, Peretz said he believes "in the very near future, we can solve the problems between Turkey and Israel. Turkish and Israeli citizens want their governments to achieve reconciliation as soon as possible."

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
China questions Americanism in SATs
Dairy Queen hit by Backoff malware breach
Plague bomb data found on seized Islamic State laptop
St. Paul police arrest a black man for sitting on a bench waiting for his children
Sen. Mary Landrieu uses mom's home as Louisiana address
Trending News