Turkey has appointed a new ambassador to Israel after a two-year absence. Al-Monitor, a US-based Middle East sentinel, quoted reliable sources last week as saying that 40-year-old Ufuk Ulutas was appointed ambassador. The media claimed that the appointment was made by Turkish officials in an effort to improve relations with the United States under the administration of newly elected President Joe Biden.
Protests erupted in 2016 when President Donald Trump decided to move the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Israeli forces have launched a deadly attack against Palestinians in protest in the besieged Gaza Strip. After the attack, Turkey withdrew its ambassador to Israel in May 2016.
More than two years after that decision, Turkey has appointed Ufuk Ulutas as Israel’s ambassador. Al-Monitor has described Ulutas as “very beautiful, very intelligent and pro-Palestinian”. He studied Hebrew and Middle East politics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is also an expert on Israel, Israel’s regional rival. However, he is not a professional diplomat.
Turkey broke diplomatic relations with Israel for the first time in 2010. Ten pro-Palestinian activists were killed when Israeli forces tried to break the Israeli blockade that year and relieve Gaza. Although the relationship was reestablished in 2016, the relationship became sour again in 2016 with the relocation of the US Embassy.