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Gazette names Turkey's new ambassador to Israel

Gazette names Turkey's new ambassador to Israel

Mustafa Kemal Okem to assume duties on Dec. 12 after presenting his credentials to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin

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Turkey’s new ambassador to Israel Mustafa Kemal Okem was officially appointed after his name appeared in the country’s official gazette on Wednesday.

On Nov. 30, the Turkish Foreign Ministry had officially announced Okem's appointment to the post.

Okem -- previously the chief foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Binali Yildirim -- will assume his duties on Dec.12 after presenting his credentials to Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

On Dec. 5, the new Israeli ambassador to Turkey, Eitan Na’eh, presented his credentials to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Before working for Yildirim, Okem advised former Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. He worked for the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s Middle East directorate and was previously posted overseas in Turkey’s London and Riyadh embassies, according to the Foreign Ministry. He also spent time working as the permanent representative to NATO.

Born in Ankara in 1967, Okem graduated from the Middle East Technical University and completed a masters and doctorate at the Ankara-based university. He also has a masters degree from Oxford University.

Turkey and Israel renewed ties in June following a six-year split over the attack on the Mavi Marmara aid ship in May 2010, when Israeli commandos killed 10 Turkish activists on the Gaza-bound vessel.

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