Nitzan Chen: "direct communication between the people of Türkiye and Israel is necessary"

Anadolu Agency
Nitzan Chen: "direct communication between the people of Türkiye and Israel is necessary"

A senior communications official from Tel Aviv spoke to Anadolu Agency about the importance of direct communication between the people of Türkiye and Israel with relations between the two nations being restored.

“I'm very delighted that the bilateral and communication relationship between Türkiye and Israel have bounced back to where they were a few years ago,” Nitzan Chen, director of the Government Press Office in Israel, told the Turkish news agency on the sidelines of the Stratcom Summit 2022 in Istanbul. Chen, who worked as a journalist for more than 30 years, said ties between Ankara and Tel Aviv are back in many aspects. “It's very important to increase the relationship.”

Turkish-Israeli relations have warmed in recent months, with the two countries agreeing to restore full diplomatic ties in August. Both have since reappointed their ambassadors. Thanking organizers for the “interesting event,” Chen said: “I am really very happy to be here in Istanbul for this important conference.”

“This kind of conference is one of the examples of how we can make exchange views and knowledge in terms of communication as well,” he said.

Chen highlighted the importance of citizens as they are taking on a major role to ease relations. “I really believe that with the people-to-people,” connection, a possible project by the agency to invite Turkish officials and influencers to Israel to introduce Israeli society will occur, he said. “Because at the end of the day, politicians have done very important (work) because, without politicians, we don't have an agenda, we don't have a policy. But on the other hand, citizens are very important, sometimes even more than the politicians,” he noted.

Organizing Stratcom Summit '23 in Israel


Ordinary citizens “can make the relationship warmer,” he said. “A good example is the Abraham Accords,” referring to normalization deals between Israel and several Arab states since the fall of 2020. Chen also noted the need to start a "warm dialogue" in many aspects to have better relations between Turks and Israelis. He explained areas where the two countries could cooperate -- water issues, climate problems, agriculture, and technology.

The 59-year-old communication director also suggested organizing a Stratcom Summit in Israel next year. “I think that in my specific fields in terms of media, culture, and literature, I would like to suggest that we will do a summit like this one in Israel,” he said. Pointing out common values between Israeli and Turkish people, he said he would be delighted to host Stratcom Summit 2023, making it a platform for media professionals to share experiences and get to know each other.

Participants at the Stratcom Summit 2022 are addressing global topics in the field of strategic communication. Gathered under the theme of "Strategic Communication in the Age of Uncertainty," the platform will feature 52 speakers from more than 24 countries, and an audience of over 3,000.

He said the Turkish government’s invitation for the Israeli delegation to the summit “symbolizes that we really would like to have a warm relationship. “My prime minister called President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan a few weeks ago when he was elected, and I think this is a good start to renew the relationship as it used to be a few years ago,” he added.

Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu is set to form an upcoming government after winning a majority in the Knesset last month.