Israeli President Isaac Herzog and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan held a joint press conference following talks in Ankara.

"I am pleased to welcome President Herzog to the Presidential Complex in Ankara. Welcome to Turkey," Erdogan said.

"I believe that this historic visit will be a turning point in relations between Turkey and Israel. Strengthening relations with the State of Israel has great value for our country."

President Herzog said: "Thank you, your Excellency, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Eşim ve ben Turkiye'de misafiriniz olarak bulunmaktan çok mutluyuz. [My wife and I are very happy to be in Turkey as your guests.] I thank you for inviting me to make a state visit here in the Republic of Turkey, and for the productive meeting we just held, which addressed many issues."

"Your invitation and my visit here represent a continuation of the welcome dialogue and contact that you initiated from the moment I entered the Presidency in Israel.

"This is a very important moment in relations between our countries, and I feel it is a great privilege for both of us to lay the foundations for the cultivation of friendly relations between our states and our peoples, and to build bridges that are critical for all of us.

"Our peoples’ relationship is an ancient one, with strong historical, religious, and cultural roots. The long line of magnificent Jewish leaders, rabbis, poets, sages, merchants, and entrepreneurs represents only part of the Jewish People’s history here in this land.

"Mr. President, unfortunately relations between our countries have experienced something of a drought in recent years.

"Now, I believe that the relationship between our countries will be judged by deeds reflecting a spirit of mutual respect and will enable us to better confront the regional and global challenges that are common to us all.

"Israel and Turkey, as you said, can and should collaborate in many fields that have a dramatic impact on this region, which we all call 'home.'

"Your foreign minister will visit Israel next month and will surely hold talks with the Israeli Foreign Minister about building these mechanisms and the agenda that you described at length in all fields, and we shall try to promote dialogue and examine it through deeds.

"Mr. President, the great poet Nazim Hikmet, one of the greatest Turkish poets of the modern era, whose poems, so full of humanity and longing for peace, you often quote, wrote in his poem 'On Living' the following verses: 'You must take living so seriously / that even at seventy, for example, you’ll plant olive trees / and not for your children, either, / but because although you fear death you don't believe it, / because living, I mean, weighs heavier.'

"Today, Mr. President, as in these verses, we are choosing a life together that 'weighs heavier.' The baggage of the past never disappears of its own accord, but we—our two peoples, our two countries—are choosing to embark on a journey of trust and respect, which will include an in-depth dialogue in all fields, and I thank you for the in-depth discussion we just held. We are choosing to look forward, together.

"We must agree in advance that we will not agree on everything. Such is the nature of a relationship with a past as rich as ours. But we shall aspire to solve our disagreements with mutual respect and goodwill, by means of the proper mechanisms and institutions, which we shall develop together, and with our sights together on a common future.

"You and I, and your people and mine, we are all children of Abraham—the father of believers in G-d.

"As you know, ahead of our meeting today, I met and held talks with the leaders of other states in our region; and I believe that you and I prove here, in fact, what we all understand: that partnership and good neighborly relations between us—here in the Eastern Mediterranean region—are important to us all.

"I believe that all of us, members of all religions—Muslims, Jews, and Christians—can and must live in peace in this beautiful region, side by side, hand in hand. I expect us to work together to strengthen the stability, prosperity, peace, and security of our region, for the sake of all nations of this region.

"This is what I dream in Jerusalem; this is what I dream in Ankara. This is how I act, and this is how the Israeli Government acts. We respect freedom of religion and the practice of religion in every place.

"Mr. President, only in recent weeks, and we discussed this, we have seen once more how bad wars are. The war in Ukraine is a humanitarian disaster, which is shocking the whole world. We cannot remain indifferent to such human suffering, and I welcome any endeavor that will lead to the end of the bloodshed. The Prime Minister of Israel, Naftali Bennett, and the Government of Israel are doing their utmost on this matter, and I also greatly appreciate and respect your efforts, Mr. President, which have led to the important summit that will be held in your country tomorrow, and I pray for positive results.

"Mr. President, in days like these, we want to send a message that we are working in a different direction and creating new hope for our region."

Çok teşekkür ederim! [Thank you very much!]

I pray that God will be by our side and will accompany us on our new path."

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