Turkey and Israel are trying to mend relations strained by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's sharp criticism of Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories. Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul visited Israel in early January, and Erdogan is expected to follow later this year. Turkey and Israel have long cooperated on security, but the ties have cooled since Erdogan's Islamic-tinged Justice & Development Party took power in 2002. Even so, trade between the two countries topped $2 billion last year, up 40% from 2003. As a gesture to Turkey, Israel announced the end of its ban on investments in the Turkish part of Cyprus.
EDITED BY Edited by Rose Brady