Skip to main content

Israeli president’s call with Erdogan may go beyond detainees’ release

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s friendly chat with his Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog could be signal that he is ready to turn a page in Turkey’s strained ties with Israel.
Israeli couple Natalie and Mordi Oknin, who were held in Turkey for a week on suspicion of espionage, are greeted upon their arrival home following their release, Modi'in, Israel, Nov. 18, 2021.
Read in 

Natali and Mordi Oknin, detained by Turkish police Nov. 9 for photographing a presidential residence. in Istanbul, arrived back to Israel Nov. 18. But the road to their release and bringing them home was nothing short of a saga.

Senior Israeli Foreign Ministry officials spent several anxious hours on the night of Nov. 17-18. Although relieved that the Israeli couple had been released, they had no idea where the two had been taken. “We tried to get to them as fast as possible, but we failed,” a senior Israeli diplomatic source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. “We were told they had been taken to a police station, but Istanbul has dozens of police stations.”

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.