JERUSALEM – Despite reports of daily anti-Semitic rhetoric from the Turkish government, cancelled Turkish-Israeli sporting games, and the cancellation of thousands of summer vacations to Turkey by Israeli tourists, the Turkish attitude toward the Jewish State seems to soften when it comes to Turkey’s security needs.

This week, a delegation of more than 20 officers and soldiers from the Turkish army landed in Israel for a two-week visit. During that time, they will be trained in the operation of the Israeli unmanned aerial vehicle, Heron. Turkey bought 10 unmanned aerial vehicles of this model and has already received six.

The value of the deal to the Israeli economy is $190 million, and that is only the beginning. Once Turkey receives all the unmanned aerial vehicles from Israel, the total amount of the deal will reach approximately $1.7 billion.

These unmanned aerial vehicles, which are produced by Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries, serve Turkey in its battles against the Kurdish minority.

The Turkish delegation that arrived in Israel includes high-ranking figures in its defense industry and high-ranking administration officials. At the end of the visit, the Turkish delegation is expected to return to Turkey with the remaining four unmanned aerial vehicles that have not yet been supplied as part of the deal. Until recently, teams from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and from Israel Aerospace Industries stayed in Turkey in order to train the Turkish crews, but in the wake of the Marmara crisis, the teams were recalled to Israel.

Although Turkish officials had already issued statements that the deal had been cancelled and that Turkey would demand compensation from Israel, reports of the deal’s death turned out to have no basis in reality, and it was also agreed that the Israeli experts team would return to Turkey in the future in order to continue training the local crews.


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David Bedein
David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.