An important step for Turkish-Israeli Relations: Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Naci Avci visited IsraelAfter seven years, a Turkish Minister visited Israel for the first time. Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avci got together with Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin and opened a Photo Exhibition at Turkish Cultural Center in Tel-Aviv together with Ron Huldai, the Mayor of Tel-Aviv Jaffa.
For the occasion of International Tourism Exhibition in Israel (International Mediterranean Tourism Market-IMTM) Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avci visited Israel, on February 7-8. This first ministerial level visit after seven years was very significant. At the meetings, various topics including tourism were discussed.
Minister Avci, attending the opening ceremony IMTM said, “Despite all provocations, we will continue our relations with Israel. This way, we will end those provocations.” Speaking at the press conference, Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin stated that they consider their relationship with Turkey very important and that it is essential to continue this relationship. Levin also added that their goal is to increase the number of tourists travelling between Turkey and Israel.
Turkish Ambassador to Israel Kemal Oktem organized a luncheon in honor of Minister Nabi Avci on February 7. Speaking at the function, Minister Avci said, “There is a saying I frequently use: Less talk, more work. Today I’m here to listen to you. I came here to plan what type of projects we can develop in terms of culture. Tourism is also the foundation of world peace. Yunus Emre said, ‘Come, let’s meet, let’s be friends. We’ve already met. But, we’re here to clear the path to peace and cooperation.”
On the same day, as part of his official schedule, Minister Avci together with Tel Aviv-Jaffa Mayor Ron Huldai attended the opening ceremony of a photo exhibition on Turkish-Israeli relations organized by Anadolu Agency and the Turkish Cultural Center in Jaffa. The Turkish Cultural Center was built during the Ottoman period. It is located at the square which also houses Jaffa Clock Tower that was built by Sultan Abdulhamid II. Tel Aviv municipality assigned the Center to Turkey for fifty years.
At the opening reception which was organized by Zali De Toledo, President of Union of Jews from Turkey in Israel, Minister Avci expressed his contentment for getting together with Turkish people living in Israel.