Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz contacted Turkey’s defense attaché to Israel and the Turkish Defense Ministry on Sunday and offered to send a search-and-rescue delegation to help Turkey cope with the aftermath of devastating floods.

Gantz said that a team from the IDF Home Front Command could also provide medical personnel and supplies.

At least 58 people have been killed by flooding in northern Turkey, and dozens more were missing as of Sunday afternoon.

The flooding began after heavy rains that started last Wednesday near the Black Sea, affecting three Turkish provinces.

Strained Israeli-Turkish relations have recently shown signs of thawing. Last month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan congratulated Israeli President Isaac Herzog on his election victory—the first conversation between Erdoğan and a senior Israeli official since 2013.

The conversation lasted about 40 minutes. Herzog and Erdoğan reportedly agreed to bolster bilateral relations, stressing that ties between Israel and Turkey are of great importance to stability and security in the greater Middle East and that cooperation between the two countries had great potential, especially in the energy, tourism and technology sectors.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.


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