Israeli relief delegation welcomed in Turkey

Israel’s Defense Ministry says a humanitarian assistance team it sent to Turkey this week received a warm greeting, despite a deepening rift between the countries.

A ministry statement said a team visited the area in Turkey where hundreds were killed in an earthquake in October.

The statement quoted Ahmet Kazankyeh, vice governor of the Van district, as thanking Israel for sending relief materials and other help, saying “You are our true friends, and the proof is what we see here.”

The two countries were once close allies, but Turkey has distanced itself from Israel in recent years, particularly following the deadly Israeli interception of a Turkish ship that tried to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip in 2010. — ap