On Thursday, experts from the Turkish Foundation for Political, Economic, and Social Research (known as SETA) will meet for a day-long conference at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies in Tel Aviv. As Tal Schneider explains, SETA is financed by the Turkish government and is known to be aligned with the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The meetings, which are closed to both the press and the public, may signal improving relations between the two countries; notably, the conference is scheduled to take place shortly before the Israeli president Isaac Herzog’s planned trip to meet with Erdogan in Turkey. Schneider reports:
The Times of Israel has learned that diplomats and governmental officials will participate in the conference, the purpose of which is to restore ties and connections among mid-level officials from the two countries. Topics scheduled for discussion include the schism between the two countries, the energy market, and other relevant matters.
The Israeli participants will be led by Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak and Nir Boms, both researchers at the Moshe Dayan center, while the Turkish side is to be led by SETA head Burhanettin Duran.
In late January, Duran published a paper on the SETA website that was also carried by the Turkey’s regime-supporting Daily Sabah newspaper, titled “Pursuit of normalization in Turkey-Israel relations.” In it he detailed how Turkey plans to open a new chapter in relations with the U.S., the European Union, Greece, Armenia, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel.