Israel to resume its direct flights to Turkey

23 December 2013 10:17
Israel's airlines will renew their direct flights to Turkey after a five-year halt, Israeli Transportation Minister Israel Katz announced on Wednesday, according to Worldbulletin. The reason that the airliners ceased their direct flights to Turkey were security-related. The Israeli airliners security demands at airports where they have departed or landed were not acceptable by the Turkish, dubbing them too strict. The two parties finally agreed on the security conditions after the Turkish authorities accepted the Israeli security demands. The Israeli airliners are expected to renew their flights to Turkey by the summer of 2014. "This is important news for the Israeli airliners, which up until now were disabled from landing in Turkish airports over security reasons," Minister Katz said in a statement. Turkey has been one of the most popular destinations for Israelis on vacation, however its status as an Israeli tourist attraction was somewhat dimmed in the past three years following the Mavi Marmara incident. In 2010, Israeli soldiers attacked a Turkish ship, Mavi Marmara, which aimed to break the blockade Israel imposed on the Gaza Strip, leaving nine activists dead. Israeli and Turkish delegations have been discussing for several months the details of a possible public reconciliation after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apologized to Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan in March, as an initial step on the way to rehabilitate the two countries' relations.