JERUSALEM (Aug. 28)
Israel and Turkey have signed an agreement for defense industry cooperation, the second defense pact between the two states.
Defense Ministry Director General David Ivry initialed the accord in Istanbul for the Israeli side.
A military training accord between Turkey and Israel that was signed in February brought Israeli jets to Turkish airspace, as well as a hail of criticism from Arab countries.
Among the staunch domestic opponents was Islamist Welfare Party leader Necmettin Erbakan, who was in the Turkish opposition at the time.
Erbakan has since become prime minister and moderated his views toward cooperation with Israel. He removed his opposition to the defense industry pact, after receiving an assessment from Turkish military officials.
The cooperation agreement was described as “routine,” and similar in nature to agreements Turkey has with some 20 other countries.
Among other things, it will allow for Israel to modify Turkish Phantom jets, in a multimillion dollar project whose financing is still being worked out.