Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus speaks to press as council of ministers meeting continues at Cankaya Palace in Ankara, Turkey on June 27, 2016.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said on Monday that there was an acceleration in steps to smooth relations with Russia, strained since Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the border with Syria last November.
Kurtulmus welcomed what he said was a decision to allow some Russian companies to employ Turkish nationals again, in comments during a televised news conference in Ankara. A “certain point” was reached in normalizing Turkey’s relations with Israel in talks on Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said, after officials said a deal had been reached to end a rift dating back to 2010. “A certain point was reached in talks on June 26 and this will be announced in a simultaneous statement by both prime ministers at 1 pm (1000 GMT),” Kurtulmus said. Relations between the two countries crumbled in 2010 after the Israeli navy killed 10 Turkish pro-Palestinian activists involved in an aid flotilla that tried to breach an Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.