Israel’s Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin called today on Israelis not to fly to Turkey. The minister also attacked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: “Erdogan is a leader who repeatedly exploits the Israeli issue in order to create headlines.”







Erdogan supporters hold a night-time demonstration

Erdogan supporters hold a night-time demonstration Photo Credit: Mstyslav Chernov via Wikimedia Commons

Israel’s Tourism Minister Yariv Levin called today on Israelis not to fly to Turkey amid the severe diplomatic crisis with the Islamic country.

“I recommend not to go to Turkey and I would have said that even before the recent events,” Levin said on Thursday in an interview with Ynet news. “There is no reason for us to go there as long as this is the attitude of the Turks.”

“Unfortunately, there is a leader in Turkey who repeatedly exploits the Israeli issue in order to create headlines and try to enlist support before an election,” the minister said about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “I think that Israel and Turkey have a relationship that is based on mutual interests, and so as long as Erdogan is there, we will not see relations returning to what they were…Maybe when the Erdogan era is over, we will see a leadership that will put the interests of the Turks in the center.”

When asked about threats to Israelis traveling in Turkey, Levin replied that “this fear exists everywhere in the world. There is a fear of terrorist attacks and attempts by anti-Semitic or anti-Israeli elements to attack an Israeli traveler or an Israeli group.”

Diplomatic relations between Turkey and Israel have reached their lowest point since the 2016 reconciliation agreement. The consuls to both countries have been expelled following the incidents along the border of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and the transfer of the American embassy to Jerusalem.