Israel lowers Turkey travel warning, thanks Ankara for efforts


Israel lowered its travel warning for Istanbul on Tuesday and thanked Ankara for Turkish intelligence efforts to thwart attacks on Israelis in the country.

“I would like to thank our security forces as well as the Turkish security forces, who over the past months and weeks have acted to prevent attacks against Israelis in Istanbul and Turkey,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement. .

Israel on June 13 had urged its citizens to leave Istanbul immediately due to the “real and immediate danger” from Iranian agents, raising the travel warning on the Turkish city to four on a four-point scale.

A flurry of reports provided details of Iranian operatives set up to target Israeli tourists and Turkey’s detention of people involved in the plots.

On Thursday, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid traveled to Ankara, thanking Turkey for its “professional and coordinated activity” in preventing attacks.

Meanwhile, Iran called the Israeli allegations ‘ridiculous’, with Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh saying they were ‘part of a pre-conceived plot to destroy relations between the two countries Muslims”.

Iran and Israel have been engaged in a shadow war for years, but tensions have escalated following a series of high-profile incidents that Tehran has blamed on Israel.

“Our actions have been successful and have saved human life, we are gradually returning to routine,” Bennett said, thanking Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan “and his people for their cooperation in thwarting attacks on Israelis in Turkey. “.

Israel’s National Security Council has warned that “Iranian motivation is still high.”

He said there were “still efforts to build infrastructure” and “locate potential Israeli and Jewish targets”, calling on Israelis to always “avoid non-essential travel to Turkey”.

Turkey’s relations with Israel have improved after years of tension, and tourism is at the heart of economic relations between the two countries.

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