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Can David Meidan's Mediation Magic Help Israel and Turkey?

Former Mossad operative David Meidan has been appointed Israel's new envoy to Turkey in an effort to bring back warm relations with Ankara.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 11/10/2011, 3:46 PM

Shimon Peres and David  Meidan
Shimon Peres and David  Meidan
Flash 90

Former Mossad operative David Meidan has been appointed Israel's new envoy to Turkey in an effort to bring back warm relations with Ankara.

Meidan proved to be the catalyst in delicate negotiations with Hamas terrorists that culminated finally with the release last month of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

Last week, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu appointed Meidan as his special envoy to the Turkish government – and Ankara accepted the move.

The quiet nod is seen as a signal that Turkey may be willing to reconsider its current freeze on diplomatic ties with the Jewish State.

Other such signals included Turkey's recent willingness to allow Israel to provide aid following a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that struck the eastern part of the country on October 23.

In addition, Ankara chose to remain silent in the face of Israel's redirection of two Turkish vessels that attempted to breach its maritime blockade of Gaza last week.

A senior Israeli defense source was quoted Thursday by The Jewish Chronicle as saying, “We saw no sign of Turkish assistance for these boats. On the contrary, from what we understand, they lied to the port authorities and said they were sailing to Rhodes.”

In August, Israel's ambassador was ejected from Ankara following Israel's refusal to apologize for killing nine armed terror activists aboard a Turkish flotilla ship that attacked IDF Navy commandos when they boarded to redirect the vessel to Ashdod port.

The dead were members of the Turkish terror-linked IHH organization, and contrary to its claims, the Mavi Marmara vessel bore no humanitarian aid in its cargo. It was one of six ships attempting to illegally breach Israel's maritime blockade of Gaza.